A Commander of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) believed to be responsible for the attacks along the fringes of Lake Chad, Abu Muqhtar, has been killed by troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole alongside 30 other insurgents along the outskirts of Damaturu, Yobe State.

Two soldiers were however wounded while repelling the insurgents from infiltrating Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

The Army Operation Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement made available to journalist, stated that the terrorists suffered major defeat.

According to the statement, “a commendable display of sheer gallantry, the troops of Sector 2 Operation LAFIYA DOLE in conjunction with the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE delivered a humiliating defeat to a group of Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists on 22nd December 2019 during a massive failed attempt by the criminal insurgents to infiltrate Damaturu, the Yobe State Capital. During the encounter, the resilient troops promptly mobilized and blocked the criminal insurgents’ advance along Gashua Road in the outskirts of Damaturu.

“The troops thereafter engaged the criminals in a fierce firefight with the support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE which unleashed devastating firepower from the air to help take out some of the criminals’ Gun Trucks. This superior firepower forced the criminal insurgents to withdraw in disarray albeit with very heavy casualty in both men and equipment. It is confirmed that a top ISWAP Commander, Abu Muqhtar, believed to have coordinated several attacks along the fringes of Lake Chad was neutralised along with over 30 other insurgents in that attack.

“Regrettably, two gallant soldiers were wounded in action during the encounter. The wounded personnel are currently receiving treatment and responding positively at a military medical facility. In the aftermath of the encounter, troops captured 1 Gun Truck and destroyed 2 others”.

It added further that, “Troops equally captured 561 Rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 1420 Rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 1850 Rounds of 7.62mmX51 ammunition and 2 Rocket Propelled Gun bombs. Other items captured by the gallant troops include, one Hand Held Communication Radio, 27 sachets of Meal Ready to Eat wraps and 350 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol)”.

He continued that, “in a related development, some criminal Boko Haram insurgents, oblivious of the humiliating defeat suffered by their cohorts barely 24 hours ago, were reportedly sighted heading towards Biu town from Mandara Girau axis of Biu LGA of Borno State late in the afternoon of 23rd December 2019, mounted on 17 Gun Trucks and motorcycles.

“In a swift and commendably bold response, the troops of 231 Battalion moved and engaged the advancing criminals while troops of 331 Artillery Regiment brought to bear deafening artillery bombardment on the visibly confused criminal insurgents forcing them to withdraw in disarray amid heavy casualty.

“In yet another development, in the early hours of Monday 23rd December 2019, troops of 121 Task Force Battalion deployed at Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State also thwarted another Boko Haram attack on their location with devastating consequence on the marauding criminals. The 2 front attacks by the criminals were effectively contained and decisively repulsed by the gallant troops. In the aftermath of the encounter, 4 Boko Haram criminals including one suicide bomber were neutralized while others are believed to have escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds”.

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