Army Confirms Three Officers, 16 Soldiers Missing In Operation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Army Confirms Three Officers, 16 Soldiers Missing In Operation

Major General Lucky Irabor
Posted: Jul 23, 2016 at 10:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nigerian Army on Friday said 16 soldiers were missing after an operation to clear the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in Gongon village in Alagarno General Area of Borno State.
Major General Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, stated this while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Irabor added that 16 soldiers and three Civilian JTF members were also wounded during the operation.
He said: “On July 20, own troops with some Civilian JTF conducted clearing operation to Gongon village in Alagarno general area.
“Own troops destroyed Boko Haram camps and captured a gun truck mounted with an Anti-Aircraft gun, an RPG tube, a Light Machine Gun, three AK-47 rifles and other logistic items of the terrorists.
“However, when own troops were returning to their defensive location, they ran into an ambush by the terrorists who came to reinforce their fleeing comrades.
“’The troops fought back gallantly killing many of them; sadly, 16 soldiers and three Civilian JTF were wounded in action; some others, including the Commanding Officer, are missing in action.
“A search party has been dispatched; so far, six soldiers and four Civilian JTF have rejoined unit, the wounded are stable and responding to treatment.
“Currently, there are three officers and 16 soldiers still missing.”
Irabor, however, said that the army had recorded successes in other aspects of its operations against the Boko Haram terrorists.
Irabor said some of the major successful operations included Clearing Operation in Mafa Local Government Area.
He said: “On June 25, own troops at Zabamari in conjunction with Civilian JTF conducted clearing operation at Masu Yiwa, Ladin Buta, Fazaka, Kesa Gala, Tabla, Fahinde, Shiroro, Gizina, Maska-Aribe and Maska Lawanti in Mafa LGA
“At Maska Lawanti, the army troops encountered the terrorists during the operation but successfully cleared the area.
“As a result, two terrorists were killed and two others were wounded, while many escaped with gunshot wounds and two motorcycles were also destroyed.”
Irabor said a member of the Civilian JTF was killed during the operation, while a soldier and a policeman were wounded in action.
He said they were responding to treatment in the army hospital.
Irabor said the army also lost an officer, a cousin of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, during an attack at Kangarwa by the terrorists.
He said troops were attacked by the Boko Haram on July 12 at about 6:45pm as they consolidated their hold on the location.
Irabor said the troops fought gallantly, killing 25 terrorists and capturing two RPG tubes, one 60mm Mortal tube, two MGs, 12 AK 47 rifles and one LMG.
He added: “The following day, during exploitation, additional three bodies of the terrorists were discovered along with other equipment.
“Sadly, however, we lost an officer and a soldier, while 11 others were wounded.
“All the wounded have been stabilised, with five of them already returned to the front lines after treatment.”
Irabor said the army also conducted another operation in Ngoshe and Gava villages, where 16 terrorists were killed.
He said the troops encountered and killed many terrorists on approaching Ngoshe on June 28 where they carried out clearing patrol.
Irabor said 16 civilians were rescued from Ngoshe, while the equipment captured during the operation included one RPG 7 tube, four RPG bombs, a GPMG, an FN rifle, three AK 47 rifles and an SMG rifle.
Also recovered are a locally made pistol, a smoke grenade, 243 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, two AK 47 magazines, a handset, a SIM card, a pair of desert camouflage, three BHT flags and a Hilux jeep painted in desert colour.
He said the troops also cleared and searched Gava village but no hostages were found.
Irabor added that in the east of Marguba village, the troops, in conjunction with the Civilian JTF, ambushed and killed two terrorists and wounded two others on July 14.
He said: “Others escaped with gunshot wounds and were pursued.
“During the pursuit, an AK 47 rifle with 29 rounds of 7.62mm special, a bow and some arrows, a Techno mobile phone, a wallet and an ID card were recovered.
“On July 19, own troops conducted fighting patrol to keep main supply route, Kumshe- Banki Road, open.”
Irabor said during the patrol, four terrorists armed with bows and arrows attempted to ambush the troops and were accordingly engaged.
Irabor said three of the terrorists were killed, while one was captured alive and taken for interrogation and so far, the interrogation had been very fruitful.
He said: “Following intelligence report on the convergence and massing up of dislodged terrorists at Garere village in Kukawa LGA, own troops conducted a raid at the location on July 19.
“During the encounter, 42 terrorists were killed, while many escaped with gunshot wounds.”
The items recovered included 504 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 162 rounds of 7.62mm special, a Land Cruiser Jeep, 34 Jerry Cans of PMS/AGO and 55 motorcycles, which were destroyed.
He said 38 women and 42 children were rescued and being interrogated and profiled, and commended the Air Component for providing the necessary support, which accounted for their successful conduct.