The Air Force has launched Operation Green Sweep II against Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast, killing several insurgents in the first day of the operation.
It came as the Army said the troops of 120 Task Force Battalion have eliminated several Boko Haram terrorists at Goniri in Yobe State and recovered arms, including five gun trucks.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who has been leading operations in the war for sometimes, hailed the efforts and successes of the troops in recent encounters with the terrorists
Buratai, who urged the troops to sustain and upscale the tempo of the operation, also enjoined them to be more vigilant.
In line with the extant military traditions, customs and ethics, he spoke while holding a durbar with the troops at the Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri, Borno State.
About 300 troops drawn from the various units and formations across the Theatre Command attended the occasion, where, as a rare privilege, the troops freely interacted one-on-one with the Chief of Army Staff.
At the event, the troops were allowed to bare their minds on issues bothering them either as a group or individually, especially on professional matters like administration, welfare, logistics and general operational situation, including progress and challenges.
He assured them of continuous support to ensure the looming defeat of the dying Boko Haram terrorists and the eventual destruction of the Islamic State West Africa Province battling to establish a dominant presence in Nigeria.
Also, NAF spokesman Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who announced the launch of Operation Green Sweep II in a statement, said structures of the insurgents were destroyed, following the air interdiction carried out with two Alpha Jet aircraft.
The statement reads: “The Air Interdiction Operation, which commenced on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, will target selected locations within the Northeast to further degrade the remnants of the terrorists as well as deny them safe havens and freedom of action.
“In the morning of Day One of the operation, air strikes by NAF aircraft resulted in the obliteration of an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) tactical headquarters and neutralization of several terrorists at Kollaram in Northern Borno State.
“The attack was executed following a series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions that showed the presence of a significant number of ISWAP fighters in buildings under trees spread across the settlement along with communication facilities with roof-mounted solar panels, defensive parapets around the settlement as well as suspected tunnels at various locations.
“Consequently, the ATF dispatched two NAF Alpha Jet aircraft to attack the location recording accurate hits in the target area, leading to the destruction of some of the structures and equipment as well as the killing of several terrorists.”
Army’s spokesman Col. Sagir Musa said in a statement that the terrorists were clinically dealt with by troops as they approached the location of the soldiers at Goniri in Yobe State with fighters on motorcycles and seven gun trucks.
Col. Musa said: “Following aborted attempt by terrorists to infiltrate 120 Task Force Battalion location at Goniri, Yobe State, Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole, at about 1833 hours on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, troops of the Battalion, in a professional manner, tactically waited for the terrorists to close into the killing range and opened a heavy volume of fire on the criminals who came with seven gun trucks and several other fighters on motorcycles.
“Consequently, this encounter/ambush resulted in the annihilation of dozens of terrorists, many fled with some levels of injuries and the following equipment were captured, five gun trucks, one Vehicule Blinde Leger (VBL) – a French wheeled 4×4 all-terrain vehicle built by Panhard, assorted quantity of ammunition and an unconfirmed number of motorcycles were destroyed.
“Generally, in comparable terms, the security situation within the Northeast zone is relatively calm and under control, as troops remain committed and resolute to conducting robust multiple aggressive operations to end the insurgency,” the statement said.