|A funeral for some fallen heroes in the past|
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have recovered the body of Lt. Col K Yusuf, the former Commanding Officer of 223 Tank Battalion and 15 soldiers who were declared missing.
The bodies were recovered after troops conducted clearance operations and dislodging of some Boko Haram elements at Asaga village along Kamadugou river line in Borno State.
The late Lt Col. Yusuf and his soldiers were declared missing in action on October 16, 2016 after Boko Haram fighters dislodged them from their station in Gashiga.
The Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole , Major General Lucky Iraboh, who announced this yesterday during a review of the operations under his command, said the fallen soldiers were buried at the Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery “with full military honours.”
Maj. Gen Irabor said the troops successfully conducted several clearance operations and arrested 963 civilians as Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) suspects while two Boko Haram members surrendered to the troops during the operations conducted between January 4-11.
Gen. Iraboh said following reports of an attempt by Boko Haram members to regroup, troops embarked on clearance operation and clashed with Boko Haram at Wulge village. In the fire fight that ensued ,11 Boko Haram members were killed while nine others were arrested .
Also, six Boko Haram members were killed while two soldiers were injured in a clearance operation on January 8, 2017. The operation involved troops and the Civilian Joint Task Force in Dogon Chuku towards Tumbun Rago.
The theatre commander said: “ On 8 Jan 17 at 0830hrs, own troops conducted clearance operation in MANAWASI and GAREL villages. The troops encountered BHT at BULAKESA village. The troops successfully cleared the BHT with support from Air Component and dominated the village.
“Sadly, an officer and four soldiers were killed in action while three other soldiers were wounded. A total of 50 BHT were killed in action while 3 AK47 rifles and several weapons and grenade were recovered from the BHT. Also, 9 BHT adults and 18 minors were arrested during the operation,” he said.
Gen. Iraboh said on January 3rd, four women and 13 children were apprehended by vigilantes at BUNI YADI and were later handed over to troops. He said preliminary investigation revealed that the women were wives of BHTs who fled from Sambisa Forest as a result of the operations.
The theatre Commander said: “On 4 Jan 17 at about 1300hrs, own troops at KATARKO while on patrol along GUJBA-NANAMAJI road arrested four BHT suspects fleeing TALALA. Their names are Babagana Mohammedu from HONG in MICHIKA LGA, Usman Usman from FUNTUA Katsitna State, Murtala Dan-azimi from KOFAR GOMBE Bauchi State and Sanusi Dahiru from SAKWAYA in Jigawa State. Arrested suspects are in own custody undergoing further interrogation.
“On January 5,2017 own troops and CJTF arrested four BHT suspects at SHUWARI village ahead of own checkpoint following a tip off that there were some BHT amirs lurking around. The suspects are Modu Auwami, Mamye Modu, Usman Kachanawa and Mallum Maji. During preliminary investigation, some local witnesses identified Modo Auwami as the one who used to provide medical treatment to injured BHT and had been seen wielding AK47 rifle on several occasions. The other 3 suspects claimed they were abducted by the BHT but only spent few days in their camps. The suspects are all from DAGUMBA and GUMSHE in MAFA and DIKWA LGA respectively. The suspects are in custody undergoing further interrogation.
“On 8 Jan 17 at about 2317hrs, following a tip-off a suspected BHT member one Abubakar Babagana Tijani (also known as Mafiyo) was arrested at GONGE area of MAIDUGURI. The suspect is believed to be among those at the top hierarchy of the BHT sect as he is especially known for his cross border activities. He has been to Chad, Cameroun and Republic of Niger at various times. The suspect has been undergoing interrogation.
“On 6 Jan 16 at about 2120hrs, own troops deployed at BUNI YADI arrested 2 men who were wandering forward of own troops location. On challenge, one of them identified himself as an ex-soldier. Troops arrested them and preliminary investigation revealed that the ex-soldier was dismissed from the military in Jan 16 at NASI while the other suspect was his friend. The suspects are undergoing interrogation. “
General Iraboh explained that a total of 119 Nigerian refugees were handed over to Nigerian troops at Banki by the Cameroonian forces. They were made up of 20 male adults, 25 female adults and 74 children. They were screened and moved to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.
He said the troops had reconstructed many bridges. “ I am hopeful that my earlier call to well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies for equipment support for construction and rebuilding of infrastructure will be fruitful,” the military chief said.