Nigeria soldiers Net 167 Boko Haram Fighters, 240 Family Members on Lake Chad Islands
By (Blogger) Abdulkareem Haruna
|Arrested persons Suspected to be families of Boko Haram|
I should say this, obviously, is one of the largest single mass arrest of Boko Haram insurgents ever made by Nigeria troops in recent times.
The authorities at the Lafiya Dole Counterinsurgency operations in northeast Nigeria said own troops had Saturday arrested a total of 403 persons who were either Boko Haram fighters or their families hiding on the islands of the Lake Chad.
This news about mass arrest of Boko Haram came only 48 hours after a deployment of Nigerian troops located at Mainok village of Borno state had a fierce fight
with the insurgents who came attacking in several trucks on Wednesday night. Mainok is just 57km away from Maiduguri the Borno state capital where Boko Haram ideology was birthed. The military command in northeast Nigeria confirmed that many lives were lost on both sides of the fight. But details of casualty was not given
The military command said the Lake Chad Island arrest was made following a sustained air and ground coordinated offensives targeting locations of the insurgents around the Lake's various patches of island.
The arrested persons comprised 167 active Boko Haram fighters, 67 women and 173 children who were confirmed wives and kids of the insurgents.
The military said many of the insurgents were also killed during the coordinated raids on the island.
Onyema Nwachukwu, a Colonel of the Nigerian army and spokesman of the counterinsurgency operation in northeast Nigeria, said made these known in a statement issued to journalists.
Colonel Nwachukwu said more arrests of 57 insurgents were made during a seperate operation on another location in the troubled sub-region.
|Items Recovered From Boko Hara|
He said within the past weeks 15 of the insurgents had given up their stuggle and surrendered to the Nigeria troops.
Photos of some of the arrested family members of the Boko Haram fighters were provided.
Kareem’s Pick Blog have not seen any photo of the 167 arrested insurgents.
And I can understand that probably revealing their identities might jeopardise “ongoing military operations”.
Below is a full copy of Colonel Nwachukwu’s statement:
"Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have intensified the ongoing offensive on Boko Haram enclaves in the Islands around the Lake Chad region. The offensive which commenced about two weeks ago with coordinated air and artillery bombardments on Boko Haram enclaves while ground troops moved in to clear the areas, is yielding positive results, as several insurgents have been killed and 167 insurgents who were fleeing from the offensive have been captured by troops.
"Troops also extricated and profiled 67 women and 173 children who revealed during profiling exercise that they are family members of insurgents who fled, following troops' offensive. Arrangement is ongoing to hand them over to IDP camp authorities after preliminary investigations are concluded.
|Families of Boko Haram|
"Meanwhile in the past two months, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have sustained ongoing precursor operations and have conducted long range fighting patrols and ambushes seeking out and clearing BHT hideouts in Saada and Juwei in the fringes of northern Borno. During the operations troops intercepted and arrested 53 fleeing insurgents who have been profiled and are currently helping with investigations. Fifteen insurgents have also willingly abandoned the insurgent group, describing it as a futile struggle and have surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole within the period.
"Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences go to families and relations of troops as well as civilians who paid the supreme price in the encounters and callous suicide bomb and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks by the terrorists.
"While troops continue relentlessly in the ongoing offensive to decisively rid the north east hinterlands of insurgents, members of the public are implored to be more security conscious and vigilant in their homes, communities, places of worship , markets and other places of business to identify strange persons as well as any suspicious activity and promptly report same to security agencies. They are also urged to remember to “Say something, if you see something”.