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156 Boko Haram Insurgents Killed, 3,475 Civilian Hostages

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About 156 Boko Haram insurgents have been killed and 3,475 civilian hostages rescued by the military in its clearance of the insurgents from their hideout.

The figures were revealed by the theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, during a press conference held in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Wednesday.

Nicholas stated that the military returned to Sambisa on clearance operations and ambushed the insurgents.

The theatre commander said: “We carried out artillery bombardment and air strike on Camp Zero. Our air strike hit most of the insurgents’ logistics, including their bomb factory, vehicles and motorcycles.”

He also added that number of the insurgents have surrendered to the military, with some others arrested by the army.

Nicholas, hence, enjoined insurgents willing to surrender to use the opportunity provided by the Federal Government’s Safe Corridor programme targeted at rehabilitating and re-integrating repentant Boko Haram insurgents.

Explaining the different treatments that would be given the repentant and the arrested Boko Haram members, Nicholas said the surrendered insurgents would be treated with respect and dignity, while the arrested persons would face the full wrath of the law.

The Major General urged Nigerians and the mass media to support the Nigerian Army in order to completely eradicate terrorism.

Also reacting on the claims that Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram leader, disguises as a woman and is now on the run, he said the troops in the theatre “want him dead or alive.”

He also said the recent video by the Boko Haram leader showed the group was defeated.

“That shows that Boko Haram is defeated. The video is an indication that they have seen their end near,” he maintained.

Nicholas also disclosed that personnel resorted to sleeping in Sambisa forest because insurgents usually returned to occupy places the army had captured and cleared.

Speaking on reasons the army had to recapture Camp Zero, Nicholas said the terrorists returned to the location after the army had cleared it on several occasions.

“Camp Zero has been taken by our troops on several occasions. You know this is an asymmetric country, there are no boundaries. We take it today and they move to another place and they occupy it again. We continue to run round.

“But this time around, I have decided that we will sleep with them in that bush. That is just the solution to what you have said.

“So, we are with them in the bush; we are not moving anywhere. We are pursuing them round the bush; we are with them there,” he said.

Ibukun Josephine Bankole was a Senior Associate at Naija News. A Mass Communication graduate, Ibukun is passionate about journalism especially in the areas of health and child related issues. She loves eating beans, singing, acting and giving motivational speeches. Ibukun is meticulous and has a positive approach to life. Contact me via twitter/Instagram @ibukunbankole_