Zagazola - EXCLUSIVE: Troops Intensify Offensive, Neutralize Scores of Boko Haram/I SWAP Terrorists, Clear 25 Camps

EXCLUSIVE: Troops Intensify Offensive, Neutralize Scores of Boko Haram/I SWAP Terrorists, Clear 25 Camps

By: Zagazola Makama

Troops of Operation Hadin Kai have successfully neutralized scores of Boko Haram/Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) fighters during a significant week-long offensive against terrorists in the northeast of Borno State.

Intelligence sources told Zagazola Makama, a counterinsurgency expert and security analyst in the Lake Chad region, that the land and air offensive, which began on January 7, 2024, as part of Operation Desert Sanity III, also resulted in the clearance and destruction of over 25 terrorist camps in the Sambisa Forest and the Timbuktu Triangle.

The sources reported that during one of the fierce offensives by the troops of the 21 Armored Brigade in Bama, they encountered terrorists in Ukuba, Sambisa, and engaged them with heavy firepower. As a result of the encounter, 11 ISWAP fighters were neutralized, which caused the remaining terrorists to scatter and flee in disarray. During the clash, one gun truck loaded with ammunition exploded and burnt.

The troops recovered various weapons and equipment, including one anti-aircraft gun, one rocket-propelled grenade tube, one general-purpose machine gun (GPMG), two RPG chargers, five AK-47 rifles, a terrorist flag, two pickup vans, and one grinding machine mill, among other items. Continuing their offensive operations deeper into the Sambisa Forest, the troops cleared areas such as Garin Abu Umaru, New/Old Mjimia, Garin Munzo, Alafa 1, and Alafa 2. An alleged Amir of Garin Munzo and five other fighters were intercepted and neutralized, while newly established camps were discovered and destroyed.

The source highlighted the team's bravery and commitment, which significantly contributed to the dislodgement of terrorists from numerous locations including New Goske, Garin Abbas, Garin Ba'aba, Korege, Arra, Garin Abu Amina, Garin Noma, Garin Malam Ma'azu, Garin Fallujah, Ukuba, Sabil Huda, Garin Munzo, Garin Abu Umaru, New Njimia, Garin Adamu, and a farmland in Dure at Balar, Yaro Bulamari, Yaro Goni Krumidi, Yaro Lawanti, and Yaro Umaradi, among others.

However, while en route to clear these locations, a patrol team triggered an IED around 1530hrs near Alagarno. Fortunately, no casualties were sustained, but the armored personnel carrier sustained damage to its rear track and two turbochargers.

Simultaneously, the troops of the 26 Task Force Brigade advanced and cleared Boko Haram enclaves in Amadaga Madachi and Amadaga villages in Gwoza LGA. The suspected terrorists fled upon noticing the troops' advance. The troops continued toward Gobara, where they made contact with the enemy, who fled with injuries as evidenced by traces of blood.

In another encounter, the troops of the 159 Battalion and 199 Special Forces Battalion, in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), cleared terrorist enclaves at BBalar, Yaro Bulamari, Yaro Goni Krumidi, Yaro Lawanti, and Yaro Umaradi. No contact with the enemy was made during this operation.

In Yobe State, the troops of the 27 Task Force Brigade continued their advances and cleared the area of Gol. They discovered and safely detonated one IED. The terrorists fled the scene, abandoning 67 bags of assorted grains in an underground storage, along with ammunition.

Additionally, the troops ambushed and neutralized two ISWAP terrorists at Katarko along the road to Yobe State University and recovered two AK-47 rifles.

As the offensive persisted, troops of the 29 Task Force Brigade cleared Galengi and Dusuri. About 2 km ahead of Tobolo, contact was made with enemy combatants. The troops engaged the terrorists in a gunfight, killing two and recovering their weapons.

The troops also cleared Arimarim and Koborori villages. Before reaching Galengi, they encountered and neutralized one terrorist, recovering a dane gun. A terrorist camp was set ablaze during the operation.

Despite facing challenges such as difficult terrain, IED threats, and other issues, the troops have maintained their momentum, focusing on and remaining determined to pursue and decimate the fleeing terrorists wherever they are found in the Sambisa Forest.

According to the source, ISWAP commanders, including Abu Aisha (Khaid) and four assistant commanders (Munzir) — Bako, Mallam Abubakar, Abu Ibrahim, Hanzala (also a Khaid) — are currently on the run. Nevertheless, the troops are resolute in their determination to hunt them down.