BY LAWRENCE ETIM.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen Chris Olukolade, has made known through an electronic statement last Thursday that no fewer than twenty insurgents have been killed in a recent clash between the troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces and Boko Haram insurgents on Wednesday. They were eliminated while attempting to launch fresh attacks on Mafa and Ajiri in Borno State. However, a handful of soldiers were injured during the encounters in the two communities.
Mr Olukolade, in his statement explained that different calibre of machine guns and improvised explosive devices were recovered from the terrorists. He added that the troops succeeded in clearing an ambush with which the insurgents had intended to wreak havoc on the neighbouring communities. Many camps in Borno and Adamawa states were destroyed in the encounters between the insurgents and the troops.
He said, “Attempts by terrorists to attack Ajiri and Mafa as well as other communities on the outskirts of Maiduguri and Dikwa in Borno State towards the Cameroon borders, on Wednesday were foiled by the security forces. “The ambush mounted by the terrorists to enable them to unleash terror on the communities unchallenged, was also cleared by troops on reinforcement mission. “Arms captured from the terrorists include various brands of machine guns and improvised explosive devices. “Twenty insurgents died in the encounter, while our troops sustained varying degree of injuries”.
Olukolade said that the DHQ had observed with serious concern, remarks by highly placed persons in government and commentators on the ongoing campaign by the military to root out insurgents from the North-East. Such people, according to him, have been creating the wrong impression about the state of troops in the ongoing operations.“The Defence Headquarters has noted with grave concern, the inflammatory pronouncements by some highly placed persons in government and some apparently sponsored commentators in and outside the country who have consistently given false and misleading remarks to describe the disposition of troops in the ongoing operations.“It has become clear that this sustained campaign is intended to demoralise the troops and give the impression that the military is overwhelmed by the terrorist group. This tendency is unfortunate to say the least.”The DHQ spokesman urged Nigerians to ignore the propaganda of the insurgents and their backers.