Victory in war against terrorists, violent extremists nonnegotiable – DHQ warns

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… arrest terrorists spy, a gunrunner in Damaturu, Yobe

By Joy Odor

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Thursday maintained that victory in the war against terrorist, insurgent, violent extremists and others creating insecurity are nonnegotiable as the armed forces eliminate and destroyed large number of terrorist infrastructure and continue to degrade their military capability in the North West (NE), North West (NW), North Central (NC), South West (SW), South East (SE) and South South (SS) zones of the country.

Major General Edward Buba, the Director Defence Media Operations (DDMO) made this known at a bi-weekly briefing of the Ongoing Military Operational Activities by the Armed Forces of Nigeria as of 23 November 2023 in Abuja.

He said the operations of the troops resulted in neutralizion of 99 terrorists,198 of them were arrested including 49 perpetrators of oil theft and 139 rescued kidnapped hostages.

According to him, military war objective is to destroy the groups, decapitate them, and erode their ability to rage terror attacks against citizens.

Speaking on the SE, Maj. Gen Buba said, troops conducted offensive actions against the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (IPOB/ESN) as well as other miscreants engaged in diverse violent activities, while in the SS Zone, troops curtailed the sabotage of the nation’s oil infrastructure and theft of crude oil.

“The war against terrorist, insurgent, violent extremists and others creating insecurity in the country wages on, and the military is progressing towards it goal of total destruction of these elements. In this war, the military is learning every day how to better deal with the threat posed by these groups.

“We are maximizing the substantial advantage that we have such as air superiority and aerial cover for the ground forces. The joint operational environment is witnessing communication and coordination of fires between ground and aerial assets to decimate the enemy on the ground.

“In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of One Billion Eighteen Million Four Hundred and Eighty Three Thousand Nine Hundred Naira (N1,018,483,900.00) only. Furthermore, troops recovered 141 assorted weapons and 1,463 assorted ammunition.

“The breakdown are as follows: one GPMG, one GT3 rifle, one assault rifle, 49 AK47 rifles, one josef magnum pump action gun, one double barrel gun, 2 single barrel guns, 9 locally made pistols, 13 dane guns, one hand grenade, 7 locally made rifles, 3 RPG chargers, 2 locally made hand grenades.

“Others are: 347 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 966 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 25 rounds of 9mm ammo, 58 live cartridges, 50 rounds of empty cases of 7.62mm special ammo, 30 magazines, 27 vehicles, 47 mobile phones, 34 motorcycles and sum of N717,580.00 amongst other items.

“Troops in the Niger Delta area destroyed 245 dugout pits, 31 boats, 69 storage tanks, 23 vehicles, 162 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, 3 outboard engine, one tricycle and 50 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 578,900 litres of stolen crude oil, 454,330 litres of illegally refined AGO and 10,000 litres of DPK.

“Going by the outcome of ongoing operations across the country. The military is ready, capable and eager to continue its mission of securing the country by the destruction of terrorist, extremist and insurgents.

“Given that there are several lines of operation in countering insurgency. It is pertinent to state that combat operations against these insurgents, terrorists and extremists remains one line of action. It is for this reason that the armed forces is calling on Nigerians for support, particularly in the area of public opinion. We have to show support for our troops to win this war.

“The gallant men and women of the armed forces continue to put themselves in harms way to ensure the safety and security of citizens. We have to exhibite patriotism and encourage them in our public discuss.

“The leadership of the armed forces under the Chief of Defence Staff, General CG Musa, is open to workable ideas to improve ongoing operations. Nigeria belongs to us all and therefore victory in this war, is nonnegotiable. Together, we not just win, but we have dominion” he noted.

Similarly, Maj Gen Buba mentioned that the Joint Task Force Operation Hadin in the North East arrested suspected BH/ISWAP terrorists collaborators in Gujba LGA of Yobe State.

Troops conducted fighting patrols in Askira Uba, Bama, Abadam and Gujba LGAs of Borno and Yobe State respectively, BH/ISWAP terrorists ambushed terrorists in Gwoza and Damboa LGAs of Borno State.

Troops also discovered Unexploded Ordinance and IED in Mobbar and Biu LGAs of Borno State.

Additionally, troops arrested suspected BH/ISWAP terrorists spy and a gunrunner in Damaturu and Kwaya Kusar LGAs of Yobe and Borno States respectively. Troops further conducted offensive operations in Damboa and Mobbar LGAs of Borno State.

Details as follows:

a. Arrest of Suspected BH/ISWAP Terrorists Collaborators. On 17 November 2023, troops arrested 3 suspected terrorists collaborators in Gujba LGA of Yobe State. The suspects claimed to been coarse to go on the errand by terrorists elements.
b. Surrender of BH/ISWAP Terrorists. Between 15 and 21 Nov 23, a total of 108 terrorists and their families comprising 13 adult males 32 adult females and 63 children surrendered to troops within the theatre of operations.
c. Fighting Patrols.
(1) On 20 and 21 November 2023, in separate operations, troops conducted fighting patrol to Askira Uba, Bama and Abadam LGAs of Borno State. Troops made contact with the terrorists. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 5 terrorists and arrested 4. Troops recovered 4 AK47 rifles, 2 locally made rifles, 5 magazines, 90 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 2 mobile phones and 2 motorcycles. Preliminary investigation revealed that 2 among the suspects were explosive Ordinance experts.
(2) On 21 November 2023, troops conducted fighting patrol to kidnappers hideout and made contact in Gujba LGA of Yobe State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 2 criminals while others fled. Troops recovered 4 AK47 rifles, 73 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammo and 2 mobile phones.
d. BH/ISWAP Terrorists Ambush on Troops. On 16 and 19 November 2023, troops while on fighting patrols in separate operations were ambushed by BH/ISWAP terrorists in Gwoza and Damboa LGAs of Borno State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 10 terrorists while others fled. Troops recovered one GPMG, GT3 rifle, one 36 hand grenade, 107 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo, 30 rounds of empty cases of 7.62mm Special ammo and one empty case of 7.62 mm NATO ammo.
e.​ Discovery of UXO. On 17 November 2023, troops while conducting fighting patrols discovery Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) in Mobbar LGA of Borno State. The UXO was successfully removed while efforts are ongoing to dispose it.
f. Arrest of Suspected BH/ISWAP Terrorists Spy. On 18 November 2023, troops while on perimeter patrol arrested a suspected BH/ISWAP terrorists spy identified withheld at Damaturu LGA of Yobe State.
g. Arrest of Suspected Gunrunners. On 18 November 2023, following a tip off, troops with Hybrid Forces arrested 2 suspected gunrunners in Kwaya Kusar LGA of Borno State. Troop recovered one assault rifle without magazine, one single barrel auto gun, one dane gun, 16 cartridges and one mobile phone.

h. Discovery and Detonation of IED. On 20 November 2023, troops while on patrol discovered an IED with a hand-written letter in Biu LGA of Borno State. Analysis is ongoing.
i. Offensive Operations.
(1) On 20 November 2023, troops in conjunction with hybrid forces conducted offensive operation and made contact with terrorists in Damboa LGA of Borno State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 7 BH/ISWAP terrorists while others fled. Troops recovered 5 AK47 rifles and 100 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo.
(2) On 21 November 2023, troops with hybrid forces conducted offensive operation and made contact with terrorists in Mobbar LGA of Borno State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 5 terrorists while others fled. Troops recovered 7 AK47 rifles, 3 magazines, 70 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo and 2 motorcycles.

SUMMARY

4. Overall, troops of Operation HADIN KAI neutralized 19 terrorists, arrested 21 and rescued 8 kidnapped hostages. Troops recovered one GPMG, one GT3 rifle, one assault rifle, 40 AK47 rifles, one single barrel auto gun, 2 locally made rifles, one dane gun, one hand grenade, 333 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 107 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 16 live cartridges, 30 rounds of empty cases of 7.62mm special ammo, 8 magazines and 5 mobile phones.

JOINT TASK FORCE OPERATION SAFE HAVEN (NORTH CENTRAL)

5. Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested suspected arms dealers in Zango Kataf and Kagarko LGAs of Kaduna State. Troops conducted raid operation to criminal hideouts in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. Troops arrested suspected Militias in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.

6. Details are as follows:

a. Arrest of Suspected Arms Dealers. Between 14 and 17 November 2023, troops in separate operations arrested 3 suspected arms dealers identified names withheld in Zango Kataf and Kagarko LGAs of Kaduna State. Preliminary investigation revealed that they were on their way to deliver ammunition to Bello Turji who is a notorious terrorist leader in Zamfara State. Troops recovered 504 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo, 100 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo, 3 RPG chargers, 3 mobile phones, one ATM card and one vehicle.
b. Raid Operation. On 14 November 2023, troops raided suspected criminals’ hideout in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. During raid, troops arrested one suspect identity withheld with one AK47 rifle and 9 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo.
c. Arrest of Suspected Militias. On 20 November 2023, troops responded to a distress call on attack on locals by suspected herder militias in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. However, no contact was made. Troops exploited the general area and arrested 17 suspected suspects.

SUMMARY

7. Overall, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN neutralized 3 terrorists , arrested 32 and rescued 8 kidnapped hostages. Troops also recovered one AK47 rifle, 3 RPG charger, 100 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 513 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, one vehicle, and 3 mobile phones amongst other items.

OPERATION WHIRL STROKE (NORTH CENTRAL)

8. Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE conducted raid operation at suspected criminal hideout in Takum and Katsina-Ala LGAs of Taraba and Benue States respectively. Troops also arrest a notorious criminal in Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State.

9. Details are as follows:

a. Raid Operation.
(1) On 15 November 2023, troops raided terrorist hideouts in Takum and Katsina-Ala LGAs of Taraba and Benue States respectively. During the operations, troops made contact with criminals. Following a fire fight, one terrorist was neutralised while others fled. Troops exploited the general area and recovered one AK47 rifle, one magazine and 27 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammo.
(2) On 17 November 2023, troops raided a criminals’ hideout and arrested a notorious criminal in Katsina Ala LGA of Benue State.
b. Arrest of Notorious Criminal. On 17 November 2023, troops conducted covert operation and arrested a notorious criminal in Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State.

SUMMARY

10. Overall, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE neutralized 2 terrorists, arrested 9 terrorists and rescued 3 kidnapped hostages. Troops also recovered one AK47 rifle, one magazine and 27 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo amongst other items.

JOINT TASK FORCE OPERATION HADARIN DAJI (NORTH WEST)

11. The troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI arrested suspected terrorist in Matazu LGA of Katsina State. Troop also rescued kidnapped hostages in Faskari and Batsari LGAs of Katsina State. Furthermore, troops offensive operations led to neutralized terrorists in Bali LGA of Taraba State. Troops responded to bandits activities in Malumfashi and Danmusa LGAs Zamfara and Katsina States respectively as well as Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State.

12. Troops also conducted fighting patrol in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State. Troops arrested suspected impostor in Mallam Madori LGA of Jigawa State.

13. Details are as follows;

a. Arrest of Terrorist. On 13 November 2023, following a tip off, troops arrested 5 suspected terrorists in Matazu LGA of Katsina State. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects were part of the terrorists that attacked Sayaya village on 6 Nov 23 in the same LGA.
b. Rescue of Kidnapped Victims. On 13 and 14 November 2023, troops intercepted and rescued 11 kidnapped hostages in Faskari and Batsari LGAs of Katsina State.
c. Offensive Operation. On 13 November 2023, troops conducted offensive operations to terrorists hideouts in Bali LGA of Taraba State. During the operation, troops made contact with terrorists. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 6 terrorists and recovered one AK47 rifle with 2 magazines loaded with 52 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo.
d. Terrorists Activities. On 15 November 2023, troops while on fighting patrol made contact with terrorists in Batsari LGA of Katsina State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized one terrorist and recovered one AK47 rifle, 2 magazines loaded with 20 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammo and 4 motorcycles.
e. Banditry Activities.
(1) Between 18 and 19 November 2023, in a separate operations, troops responded to information on bandits activities in Maru, Malumfashi and Danmusa LGAs of Zamfara and Katsina States respectively. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 4 bandits and rescued 2 kidnapped hostages. Troops recovered one AK47 rifle with magazine loaded with 13 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo, 3 mobile phones, one motorcycle and the sum of N18,560.00
(2) On 20 November 2023, troops conducted fighting patrol and made contact with bandits in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 4 terrorist and recovered 2 locally made pistol, one long Dane gun, 5 empty case of 7.62mm special ammo, 4 mobile phones and destroyed 2 motorcycles.
f. Fighting Patrol. On 21 November 2023, troops on fighting patrol responded to kidnapping activities in Tangaza LGA of Sokoto State. Troops rescued 52 kidnapped hostages on the operation.
g. Arrest of Impostors. On 18 November 2023, troops while on patrol, arrested 2 impostors in Mallam Madori LGA of Jigawa State.

14. Air Interdiction. On 17 November 2023, the air component of Operation HADARIN DAJI conducted air interdiction on a targeted terrorist leaders enclave known as LALBI NAGOGO. The enclave is in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State. Following confirmation of terrorist and his foot soldiers presence, the location was struck with rockets and cannons. Battle Damage Assessment revealed several terrorist were neutralized with various structures destroyed.

SUMMARY

15. Overall, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI neutralized 20 terrorists, arrested 20 terrorists and rescued 83 kidnapped hostages. Troops also recovered 2 AK47 rifles, one AK47 rifle loaded with 13 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, one long dane gun, 2 locally made pistols, 72 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 5 empty cases of rounds of 7.62mm special 4 magazines, 5 motorcycles, 7 mobile phones and amongst others.

OP WHIRL PUNCH (NORTH WEST)

16. Troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH conducted fighting patrols in Chikun LGA and Kuje Area Council of Kaduna and FCT Abuja respectively. Troop conducted ambush operation on terrorists in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Troops also responded to information on terrorists activities in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State.

17. Details as follows:

a. Fighting Patrol.
(1) On 13 November 2023, troops while responding to kidnapping activities made contact with terrorists in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 2 terrorists and arrested 3 suspected collaborators involved with the incident. Troops recovered one AK47 rifle, 2 extra AK47 magazines, 5 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammo, 2 locally made hand grenades, 4 mobile phones and 2 motorcycles.
(2) On 14 November 2023, troops while on patrol responded to information on kidnapping activities in Kuje Area Council of FCT Abuja. Troops made no contact. Troops however, arrested 2 suspected kidnappers’ informants.
b. Ambush on Terrorists. On 14 November 2023, following a information on suspected arms and ammo suppliers to terrorists, troops ambushed terrorists in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Following a fire fight, troop neutralized 3 terrorists and recovered 2 AK47 rifles wrapped in a sack, one AK47 magazine and veterinary medicine.
c. Terrorists Activities. On 16 November 2023, while fighting patrol, troops responded to information on terrorists activities in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State. Troops made contact with terrorists. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 6 terrorists and recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 4 magazines, 14 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammo, 40 pairs of terrorists’ uniform and 9 motorcycles.
e. Raid Operation. On 20 November 2023, troops raided criminal hideout in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT Abuja. During the operation, troops arrested 5 suspects and recovered one dagger, one POS Machine, 5 mobile phones, illicit drugs and the sum of One Hundred and Sixty-five Thousand Naira (₦165,000.00) only.

18. Air Interdiction. The air component of Operation WHIRL PUNCH on 16 Nov 23, conducted air interdiction at terrorist‘ leader known as Boderi. The terrorist leader’s new enclave is located in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State. The location was observed to be active with terrorists. The location was acquired and engaged with rockets and cannons. The Battle Damage Assessment revealed that the elder brother of the terrorist leader named Nasiru, several of his lieutenants and foot soldiers were neutralized as well as their structures destroyed.

SUMMARY

19. Overall, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH neutralized 16 terrorists, arrested 16 suspected terrorists and rescued 3 kidnapped hostages. Troops recovered 5 AK47 rifles, 2 locally made hand grenades, 7 magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 11 motorcycles, 9 mobile phones, 40 pairs of terrorists uniform and the sum of N165,000.00 amongst others.

JOINT TASK FORCE OPERATION DELTA SAFE (SOUTH SOUTH)

20. Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE maintained momentum against the activities of crude oil theft. Troops destroyed several illegal refining sites and recovered stolen products. Troops conducted operations in Akpabuyo and Isoko LGAs of Cross River and Delta States respectively. Troops arrested suspected criminals in Ikpoba Okha LGA of Edo State.

21. Details as follows:

a. Troops Destroy Illegal Refining Sites. Troops recovered 578,900 litres of stolen crude oil, 454,330 litres of illegally refined AGO and 10,000 litres of DPK. Troops also apprehended 45 suspected oil thefts. Additionally, Troops discovered and destroyed 245 dugout pits, 31 boats, 69 storage tanks, one tricycle and 23 vehicles. Other items rec incl 162 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, 3 outboard engines and 50 illegal refining sites.
b. Raid Operation.
(1) On 14 November 2023, troops raided a suspected criminal hideout in Akpabuyo LGA of Cross River State. During the operation, troops neutralized one notorious criminal and recovered one locally made pistol loaded with one round.
(2) On 15 November 2023, troops with hybrid forces raided suspected drugs peddlers’ hideout in Isoko North LGA of Delta State. During the operation, troops arrested 6 suspects.
c. Arrest of Suspected Criminal. On 17 November 2023, following information on activities of criminals, troops conducted search and rescue operation in Ikpoba Okha LGA of Edo State. During operation, troops arrested one suspected criminal identified as Ganiyu Sheriff who claimed to be a member of Edo State Security Network. Troops recovered one single barrel gun, one Josef Magnum Pump action gun, 32 live cartridges, some empty cases of 7.62 mm Special ammo, one vehicle, 3 black fragmental jackets, 2 pairs of Edo State Security Network uniforms, charms and cutlasses.
e.​ Ambush Operation. On 19 November 2023, following INTREP, troops ambushed suspected kidnappers and made contact in Bakassi of Cross River State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 3 criminals while others fled. Troops recovered 2 locally made pistol, 10 rounds of 9mm ammo, 2 mobile phones and one cutlass.

22. Marine Operation. Following a distress call on a missing Cameroonian – flagged motor Fishing Vessel AFKI (MFV AFKI) with registration number UK12 and number AFKI 8432780. The maritime component of Operation DELTA SAFE on 17 November 2023 conducted search and rescue operation. After frantic surveillance, maritime component traced and made contact with the vessel 17 nautical miles off Pennington terminal. The vessel was recovered with 2 foreign crew members onboard.

SUMMARY

23. Overall, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE recovered 578,900 litres of stolen crude oil, 454,330 litres of illegally refined AGO and 10,000 litres of DPK. Additionally, Troops discovered and destroyed 245 dugout pits, 31 boats, 69 storage tanks, one tricycle and 23 vehicles. Other items recovered include 162 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, 3 outboard engine and 50 illegal refining sites,

24. Troops also neutralized 4 criminals, apprehended 51 suspected oil thefts and other criminals elements as well as recovered 3 locally made pistol with one round, 10 rounds of 9mm ammo, 2 mobile phones and a cutlass amongst other items.

JOINT TASK FORCE OPERATION UDO KA (SOUTH EAST)

25. Troops of Operation UDO KA encountered meeting engagement with suspected terrorists in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State. Troops arrested suspected criminals in Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State. Troops arrested suspected criminals and kidnappers in Onueke Ezza and Aninri LGAs of Ebonyi and Enugu States.

Details as follows:

a. Meeting Engagement. On 16 November 2023, troops while on night patrol made contact with suspected terrorists in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State. Following a fire fight, troops neutralized 2 terrorists and recovered one Double barrel gun, one motorcycle and 2 mobile phones.

d. Arrest of Suspected Criminals. On 16 November 2023, troops responded to a distress call on suspected Iyonu Militia criminal activities in Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State. During the operation, troops arrested 4 suspected criminals and recovered one locally made pistol and 6 rounds of 9mm ammo.
c. Arrest of Suspected Criminals.

On 17 November 2023, troops while on fighting patrol arrested one suspected criminal in Onueke Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State. Troops recovered one Pump action rifle with live cartridges.

g. Arrest of Suspected Kidnappers. On 19 November 2023, troops on fighting patrol arrested 3 suspected kidnappers Aninri LGA of Enugu State.

SUMMARY

Overall, troops of Operation UDO KA neutralized 6 criminals, arrested 14 suspected IPOB/ESN criminals and rescued 2 kidnapped hostages. Troops also recovered one pump action gun, one double barrel gun, one locally made pistol, 6 rounds of 9mm ammo, one motorcycle and 2 mobile phones amongst other items.

All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further actions. These actions include prosecution.

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