Over 150 landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by insurgents in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno were discovered, immobilized and recovered in different parts of Borno state between March and July this year.
Theatre Commander Joint Task Force North East Operation HADIN KAI OPHK Major General Christopher Musa disclosed this on Wednesday during the handing over of hospital equipment donated to the Army’s 7 Division hospital by the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC).
General Musa said the IEDs recovered were capable of destroying a truck and ten men, hence, military needs more support to tackle the menace of IEDs.
He described the risk posed by the IEDs and landmines on troops and civilians as enormous and can only be mitigated by paving routes and roads leading to the hinterlands.
Paving the roads he says will “take away 65 per cent” of the challenges faced in the fight against the insurgents.
He noted that the biggest challenge in the ongoing return of IDPs and refugees to their respective communities is the safety of the routes and surrounding areas where the returnees are headed.
The TC said, “What we feel will assist us in mitigating this challenge, and preventing further harm to our troops and the civil populace is road construction. When the roads are constructed, it will be difficult for the terrorists to come and plant IEDs on the road,”
“Un-tarred roads also affected our troops’ movement because if we want to go for reinforcement it will be difficult for us to move through roads mined with IEDs; troops have to go on foot and begin to scan the width and breadth of the roads.
“You can imagine the time it would take if you have to do this for over a kilometre. It takes us the whole day if one is to go through the 85 km Maiduguri-Damboa road if troops are to scan for IEDs,” he said.