Aollowing an airstrike conducted by the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) on 20 December 2022 at Mantari in Gezuwa area of Bama Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State,
Military sources confirmed that during the air strikes, several terrorists including Khaids Abbah Tukur, Maimusari, Bakura Jega and several others were eliminated in the strike.
The is just as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao arrived Maiduguri earlier on Sunday, 25 December 2022 to celebrate the yuletide with frontline troops.
“The air strike was authourized after it was discovered that a Boko Haram terrorist commander simply known as Ikirima, had stationed his fighters and gun trucks at Mantari village, alongside other terrorists from other locations who had converged at the same location with motorcycles and bicycles” the source said.
“Subsequently, the authorization for an air strike led to the elimination of several of the terrorists and structures in the area.
“After the first wave of air strikes, some surviving terrorists found their way back to the same location to evacuate the bodies of those neutralized in the air strike.
“This provided an opportunity for a follow-up strike on the same location which has been confirmed very successful as over 100 terrorists were neutralized with dozens said to be in critical condition”.
“There were also confirmed reports that ISWAP and Boko Haram elements had perfected plans to resume active hostilities in the wake of the yuletide and forthcoming general elections.
“The timely intelligence received on their plans especially their attempt to attack soft targets in Bama LGA thus helped in the successful air strikes which has reduced their will to regroup and attack innocent citizens.
“There is no doubt that the progress and gains being made especially by the air and ground troops has greatly contained an upsurge of terrorists’ campaigns within the Northeast zone in recent times.
“Both air and ground troops have however been cautioned on the need to remain focused on the end state”.
Meanwhile the COAS and CAS have both commended the efforts of the air and ground troops as well as other security agencies under OPHK for the tremendous achievements being recorded in the Theatre.
According to them, there has been a lot of improvement in the security situation in the region due to the ongoing operations.
They urged the troops to continue to give in their best towards ensuring that the region is completely rid of all terrorists.
Both Service Chiefs paid special tribute to those who have paid the supreme sacrifice in the fight against terrorism and insurgency while also praising the commitment and uncommon sacrifices of the troops as peace gradually returns to Borno State.
While wishing them a Merry Christmas, the Service Chiefs both extended the appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed all Nigerians to the troops for their sacrifices and efforts.
The yuletide lunch between the Service Chiefs and frontline troops has become a periodic routine aimed at enhancing camaraderie among troops and boosting morale.
Present at the event was the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Umar Kadafur who represented the Governor of Borno, District Head of Damboa and representatives of Non Governmental Organizations, among others.