The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, has said some Boko Haram insurgents were killed by troops during a cordon and search operation along Djimillo-Damaturu, Yobe State on Friday.
Olukolade said the troops had a fierce encounter with the terrorists when their hideout was discovered by soldiers near a market.
According to him the soldiers killed an unspecified number of the insurgents and recovered some machine guns and rifles from them.
He added that some of the terrorists were believed to have been killed in a fire that gutted the house which they used as their base.
Olukolade said a soldier was killed in the fight with the terrorists while another who had gunshot wounds was undergoing treatment
The Defence spokesman also said the troops had an encounter with some terrorists who were in the process of blowing up a bridge to halt the military operation in Gulak, the headquarters of the Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
The troops, he said, also recovered some arms and ammunition from them, adding that flags hoisted by the terrorists were being dismantled by the troops in the operational area.
Meanwhile, an intelligence source said on Saturday that military operations were going on in various communities in the three states under emergency rule.
The source stated that the military had recovered over 30 communities in 12 local government areas in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Olukolade had said in a statement on Friday that troops liberated Bara, the headquarters of Gulani Local Government area of Yobe and Gulak, the headquarters of the Madagali.
He stated also that the troops also recaptured other towns such as Shikah, Fikayel, Tetebah, Buza, Kamla and Bumsa, during the two-day operation.
In a related development, a former United States ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, has said Boko Haram’s loss of some of its captured territories to the Nigerian troops will not prevent it from carrying out violent attacks against government facilities and innocent people.
Though the Islamist insurgents still have swaths of lands in the North-East under their control, the Nigerian military has been able to drive out the terrorists from more than 10 communities including Mubi, Gamboru-Ngala, Hong, Monguno, Baga and Gombi.
Campbell made this known in an article he wrote for the US-based Council on Foreign Relations.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Director General of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, had said the army was in full control of the recovered territories in Borno and Adamawa states.
But according to Campbell, beyond the recovered territories, “there appears to have been little change in the areas where Boko Haram operates.
“What is the significance of the Nigerian military’s reoccupation of the three towns? Towns in North-East Nigeria appear to change hands frequently. Unlike ISIS in Syria and Iraq, where a major goal is the permanent occupation and governance of territory, Boko Haram appears to be highly fluid. Hence, Boko Haram does not need to hold territory to be effective. Boko Haram is also adept at melting back into the countryside when confronted by superior forces.”
In a related development, the US Senate voted unanimously to condemn the vicious attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram against innocent civilians, especially women and children, and called on President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to ensure that Nigeria’s upcoming general elections on March 28 and April 11 are safe, credible, and transparent.
The resolution was introduced by Senator Robert Menendez.
The US Senate stated its support to bring an end to violence perpetrated by the Islamist insurgents, urging the Nigerian government to conduct transparent, peaceful, and credible elections.