The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have thwarted efforts by the Boko Haram insurgents to attack some soft targets in Borno.
The troops have also continued to continued to decimate the insurgent from different encounters across the North East.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
Iliyasu reiterated the troops resolve to sustain their efforts until all the remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province insurgents were completely wiped out.
He disclosed that the troops of 3 Battalion deployed in Gamborou-Ngala Local Government Area of Borno had on Jan. 18 repelled a Boko Haram attack on the Ngala Community.
According to him, the insurgents sneaked into the peaceful community in five gun trucks, motorcycles and a number of foot soldiers through the rear of a Humanitarian hub.
“They used a farm as cover with the heinous intent to unleash one of the most devastating terror attacks in recent times.
“Fortunately for the residents, the vigilant troops responded swiftly, engaging the criminals with overwhelming superior firepower, thereby forcing them to beat a hasty retreat in complete disarray.
“During the ensuing pursuit and exploitation embarked upon by the troops, one Boko Haram criminal suicide truck driver strapped with a suicide vest was neutralised.
“Items captured during the encounter include one AK 47 Rifle, one FN Rifle, one motorcycle and one heavily laden Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device with deadly explosive materials.”
Iliyasu added that preliminary investigations revealed that vehicles laden with IEDs and suicide bomber were heading to the IDP Camp in Gamborou-Ngala before the troops foiled the attack.
He added that five Humanitarian workers who took refuge in a bunker during the attack were successfully rescued by the troops.
According to him, on Jan. 24, troops of the same 3 Battalion deployed at Ngala bridge repelled another Boko Haram attack on their location.
He disclosed that the insurgents, who came in three gun trucks and a number of foot soldiers late afternoon, were engaged by the troops and inflicted heavy casualty on both their men and equipment.
The spokesperson disclosed that two of the three gun trucks belonging to the terrorists were captured at the end of the encounter.
He added that two anti-aircraft guns, one GPMG gun, two AK47 rifles, one GPMG barrel, 688 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 20 rounds of PKT ammunition and 63 rounds of 50 ammunition were also captured.
“One neutralised body of the criminal insurgents was recovered during exploitation while several other bodies and wounded were believed to be carted away as evident by the trails of blood found along their withdrawal route.
“Similarly, on Jan. 24, troops of 7 Division decisively cleared a Boko Haram ambush while on clearance operations between Firgi and Banki Junction in Bama Local Government Area of Borno.
“In the aftermath of the encounter, two Boko Haram criminals were neutralised while others are believed to have escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, wishes to reassure the public of the Nigerian Army’s unwavering commitment to ensuring adequate security and enabling environment for a peaceful and prosperous nation,” he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
The Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Abok Ayuba, on Thursday described the killing of a student of University of Maiduguri, Ropvil Dalep, by the Boko Haram terrorists, as evil, barbaric and inhuman.
Ayuba in a statement by his Press Secretary, Mr Bulus Atang, urged security agencies to redouble efforts in their fight against terrorism.
He expressed sadness over the tragic murder of Dalep, a Plateau indigene, who was abducted on Jan. 9, in Borno alongside two other indigenes of the state, by Islamic State West Africa Province.
He also expressed worry that Dalep’s execution came after a similar incident involving two innocent indigenes of Plateau, Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikaghem in October 2019, by the terrorists.
He commiserated with the family, the Mupun Nation and the entire citizens of Plateau over the execution of Dalep.
“My thoughts go to the families of late Dalep, who are enduring unspeakable pains and hardships and those who lost their loved ones in similar circumstances.
“We assure you that the State Assembly would work with all key stakeholders in ensuring the security of lives and property of the law abiding people of Plateau,” the speaker said.
Edited by: Abdullahi Yusuf
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has expressed deep sadness over the distressing video released by the Islamic State West Africa Province, showing the purported execution of Mr Ropvil Dalyep, a student hostage from Plateau.
The governor in a statement issued to Nigeria News Agency by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, in Jos, also expressed outrage over the murder of the 22-year-old student of Biology Education of the University of Maiduguri.
He described the killing as a heinous act aimed at provoking sentiments which could lead to perceived hatred for people based on religion and origin.
He said the narrative of the terrorists must never be allowed to fester and cause disharmony among Nigerians as the ideology of Boko Haram was not only misplaced but clearly a merchandise of evil.
Lalong commiserated with the family of Dalyep and assured them of the support of the State Government in their period of great distress.
He said the notion being conveyed by the terrorists that Christians and citizens of Plateau were being targeted was most unfortunate and must be condemned, as it is another ploy by the group to legitimise their evil enterprise.
He said the State Government would continue to work with security agencies and the Federal Government to ensure that those still under captivity of the sect were released while those behind the evil act were brought to justice.
NAN reports that Dalep, a native of Jing in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau, was abducted on Jan. 9 by the Boko Haram terrorists while on his way to Maiduguri to resume school.
Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye
The Nigerian Army has dismissed the report of killing and abduction of soldiers by Boko Haram terrorists along Gwoza-Bama road in Borno.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Tuesday, condemned a section of the media for such report.
Some media platforms had reported on Sunday that 17 soldiers were killed in a confrontation with the terrorists around Banki Junction along Gwoza-Bama road.
The report also added that some soldiers were also taken captive by the insurgents during the encounter.
Iliyasu said that the reports were not true but simply the figments of the imaginations of their authors.
He however challenged the authors of the report to tell their audience precisely where the said casualties were and where such imaginary fight actually took place.
According to him, it is quite disappointing to also observe that, some international organisations have equally fallen prey to the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province propaganda antics.
“It is pertinent to add that the Army Headquarters has keenly observed that fake news, particularly on security-related issues have become rampant from the inception of the New Year, 2020.
“It is therefore necessary to warn the perpetrators to desist from unnecessarily peddling false reports that are capable of undermining the counter terrorism and counter insurgency efforts in the North East.
“Contrary to some false insinuations making the rounds, the Maiduguri – Damaturu road as well as Bama – Gwoza road are some of the safest commuter roads with over 5,000 vehicles plying them daily.
“To this end, the Nigerian Army wishes to unequivocally state that the claims contained in the disjointed reports under reference and indeed any recent claims of heavy casualties on Nigerian Army troops are nothing but fake, malicious and frivolous news reports.
“We therefore request the general public to disregard them in their entirety.
“The Nigerian Army also wishes to call on the good people of the entire North East to go about their legitimate businesses without any fear,” he said.
Iliyasu stated that the worst days of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were completely over, adding that the gallant troops had successfully reduced them to common criminals who are now fighting themselves for a hiding space.
He added that the troops’ efforts would not be deterred by sponsored false reports and insurgents’ propaganda being spread by some unpatriotic elements through fabricated media publications.
“They have by their false, speculative and sensational reportage, continue to undermine national security either wittingly or unwittingly.
“In so doing, they are not only soiling the good reputation of some media professionals, but are indeed undermining the sacrificial efforts of the troops fighting the insurgents.
“This is clearly demonstrated in the fabricated or unsubstantiated reports under reference.
“The false reports, which could best be described as Yellow Journalism, have exposed the ignorance and the desperation of its authors and their unscrupulous but failed attempt at creating unnecessary security concerns where there is none,” he said.
Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the terrorist killing of Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika local government area of Adamawa, describing it as cruel, inhuman and deliberately provocative.
The president stated this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Buhari regretted that the terrorists killed the religious leader while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties.
He consoled the Christian community all over Nigeria, the government and people of Adamawa as well as the Bishop’s family over the sad loss of the man of God.
He said that terrorists would continue to pay a heavy price for their actions and ”comprehensively be defeated by our determined armed forces”.
The president urged nations of the world to end all support provided to the Boko Haram and Islamic States in West Africa (ISWA) terrorist groups whose only goal was to sow death, violence and destruction in the sub-region.
Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
The son of an Indian gold mine owner in Burkina Faso, who was kidnapped by unidentified assailants in 2018, has been released, his father said on Monday.
Kimar Akoliya, whose father Akoliya Patel, owns the Ghana-based Balaji mining group, had set off for Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, from the remote Inata mine with two colleagues when they disappeared in September 2018.
The identities of those kidnapped had not been previously confirmed.
“By God’s grace, it is true,” Patel said in an email, confirming reports of Akoliya’s release on social media.
He gave no further details and it was not clear whether his colleagues, a Burkinabe and a South African, had been freed.
The attackers were not identified at the time, but jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have in recent years expanded their presence across West Africa’s Sahel region, a strip of scrubland beneath the Sahara desert and taken a number of Western hostages.
In November, 37 civilians were killed and another 60 injured in an attack on a convoy ferrying hundreds of local employees and contractors from a mine owned by Canada’s Semafo in Burkina Faso.
Edited by: Fatima Sule/Tajudeen Atitebi
Abuja, Jan. 20, 2010, The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has reassured that the counter insurgency operations in the North East and other operations against insecurity across the country were on course.
Buratai gave the assuranve in a statement by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, on Monday in Abuja.
He said that current indicators had revealed tremendous successes across the various theaters of operation.
According to him, after a careful review of operations in the North East, Army Headquarters has gladly observed renewed zeal and determination of troops to take the counter insurgency operations to their logical conclusion.
“The outcomes will be favourable to Nigeria and Nigerians as evident in the recent decimation of many Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province criminals, including some of their top commanders.
“There have been several arrests of the insurgents’ logistic suppliers and collaborators, numerous capture of their arms and ammunition as well as rescue of many captives from the bondage of the insurgents,” he said.
Buratai advised all local and foreign interests to exhibit more commitment and restraint on issues of Nigeria’s national security and avoid taking sides.
He added that all actions and utterances should be tailored towards supporting the national cause with a view to restoring peace and tranquility in the country.
Buratai further assured the troops that their sacrifices and that of their fallen colleagues would not be in vain.
He reiterated the unreserved commitment of the Nigerian army to defend the country and her citizens no matter the prize or odds.
According to him, the recent moribund activity of Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province insurgents is synonymous with the kicks of a dying horse gasping for the last breath.
He further warned that the day of reckoning was at the door steps of all enemies of the country and Nigerians who took delight in the sufferings of innocent citizens.
“All well-meaning Nigerians especially those in the North East and friends of Nigeria elsewhere are enjoined to fully support the counter insurgency operations as well as the fight against all forms of criminality across the nation,” he added.
Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Norway’s Finance Minister Siv Jensen and her right-wing Progress Party will resign from the government over a decision to bring home from Syria a woman suspected of Islamic State affiliation, Jensen said on Monday.
The resignation robs Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg of her parliamentary majority and could make the country more difficult to govern.
Report says Solberg is still expected to remain in office as head of a minority coalition.
“I brought us into government, and I’m now bringing the party out,” Jensen told a news conference.
Jensen’s departure was triggered by a cabinet decision, announced recently, that the woman and her two children would receive help to return to Norway so that one of the children could receive medical treatment.
The woman, who left Norway in 2013, was arrested upon her return on suspicion of being a member of the Islamist militant group that briefly controlled a territory the size of Great Britain across Iraq and Syria.
While Progress had offered to help the children, the Populist Party sought to deny any government assistance for adults seeking to return home after joining Islamist groups abroad or marrying foreign fighters.
Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Maharazu Ahmed
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, said on Wednesday that an existing nuclear deal the country struck with world powers was not dead and that he was unsure if any new pact agreed by U.S. President Donald Trump would last.
“The United States didn’t implement (the existing deal’s) …commitments, now it has withdrawn.
“I had a U.S. deal and the U.S. broke it.
“If I have a Trump deal, how long will it last?’’ Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a security conference in New Delhi.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called for Trump to replace the 2015 deal with his own new pact to ensure Iran did not get an atomic weapon.
Trump’s administration abandoned the pact aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in 2018 and has since re-imposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
The U.S. president said in a tweet he agreed with Johnson on the need for a “Trump deal”.
Iran is interested in diplomacy, but not in negotiating with the U.S., Zarif said, adding the existing pact was among the “best deals” he could envisage.
Zarif spoke a day after Britain, France and Germany formally accused Iran of violating the terms of that agreement, a move that could eventually lead to the re-imposition of U.N. sanctions.
He said Iran would respond to a letter sent by the three European countries and that the future of the pact, which was “not dead”, rested on Europe.
Iran denies its nuclear programme is aimed at building a bomb but has gradually rolled back its commitments under the 2015 accord since the U.S. pulled out.
It argues that Washington’s actions justify such a course.
Tensions between the two countries have risen following the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani and a retaliatory missile attack by Iran on U.S. forces in Iraq.
Zarif said Iran had sent a message to Washington through Swiss mediators on the night of the missile strike, calling it an act of self-defence in response to Soleimani’s killing.
He said the commander’s death was a major setback in the fight against Islamic State.
Many in the region, saw Soleimani as a hero for his role in defeating the jihadist group.
Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou has replaced the head of the army after twoof the country’s deadliest attacks in living memory killed at least 160 soldiers, the government said.
This had prompted a rethink in the battle against militants groups, the official added.
Ahmed Mohamed led the army for over two years, a period marked by a steep rise in attacks by militants linked to Islamic State and al Qaeda.
This had culminated in a daytime raid on a remote army base on Thursday that killed at least 89 soldiers.
That attack came less than a month after another on an outpost that killed 71 soldiers and raised questions about Niger’s ability
to contain the spread of militant groups across its western border from Mali and Burkina Faso.
Maj.-Gen. Salifou Modi was appointed Mohamed’s successor on Monday, the government announced after a cabinet meeting.
Niger said it would launch a new military offensive against militants, but past campaigns have failed to curb violence in spite of the
presence of French and American troops.
Attacks in Niger have raised fourfold over the past year, killing more than 400 people, according to the Armed Conflict Location
and Event Data Project, a non-profit research organisation.
Military campaigns by armies in the Sahel, a semi-arid swathe of land beneath the Sahara, have also been marred by human rights
abuses, which analysts say have pushed some civilians into the arms of the militants.
In addition to the militants attacks, countries in the region, especially Mali and Burkina Faso, have struggled to cope with
deadly ethnic clashes between rival farming and herding communities.
Edited by: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu