By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Air strikes and Land bombardments by Air and Land components of Operation Lafiya Dole on Buk, a Boko Haram and ISWAP Command Center inside Sambisa Forest between Saturday 21st and Monday 23rd March 2020 has led to the killing of over 200 terrorists and some of their commanders, with many of their logistics equipment and arms destroyed.
This is just as an explosion of one of the military trucks carrying bombs and other artillery weapons of the fighting troops meant for consolidation and protection of cleared strongholds captured from the terrorists, exploded unexpectedly, killing more than 30 Nigerian troops inside the forest.
Fifteen (15) of the soldiers who sustained various degree of injuries as a result of the explosion, have been evacuated to Maiduguri for medical intervention.
Sources however disclosed that the explosion of the logistics truck carrying back up bombs and ammunition for artillery fire meant to level remaining strongholds of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists inside the forest may have been the handiwork of informants (5th Columnists) within the military who must have revealed movement of troops.
It was gathered that after surveillance and intelligence reports showed that more than 500 terrorists and their Commanders, (size of a Brigade) were operating a camp in Buk, inside Sambisa Forest and it was from there many of their attacks either suicide or ambush attacks were being launched, the authorities decided to embark on a clearance operation of the Camp.
In the first wave of artillery and fighter aircraft strikes, hundreds of the terrorists were annihilated and their equipment and weaponry destroyed even as troops continued to march forward with high morale.
However, when the second wave of gallant troops began the back-up movement with a view to securing the already cleared areas in Buk, fifth columnists within the allegedly tipped Boko Haram that the back-up fighting force was coming with trucks loaded with more bombs and artillery ammunition to finish any remnant of the terrorists group hence the truck was targeted and its impact killed many of the soldiers.
Confirming the development on Tuesday, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said, “As you know, we are in a fluid conflict situation and our gallant troops are out there at the frontlines. Between 21 and 23 March 2020, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, were on clearance and fighting patrol operation to Gorgi in Borno State which successfully done.
“However during consolidation they were ambushed by elements of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT). Sadly, we suffered some casualties in the unfortunate attack.
“However the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole scrambled immediately and provided Close Air Support to the ground troops.
“While the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform as well as the fighter jets engaged the Boko Haram Terrorists immobilizing, killing some of the terrorists and immobilizing a gun truck.
“Some others, who attempted to withdraw, were also mopped up by the jets in follow-on attacks.
“The Defence Headquarters commiserate with the families of our fallen gallant heroes who paid the supreme price in the course of defending our fatherland.
“We assure Nigerians that the Armed forces and other security agencies in furtherance of the objective of restoring peace and security in the North East and other parts of the country will continue to sustain the offensive against the enemies of our nation.”