Military continues operations amidst encounters with Boko Haram militants, denies civilian casualties

The air operations to clear terrorists bases sited in Daggu and Yazza areas of Borno State during the weekend have registered the expected results in the ongoing campaign against terror, says Nigeria’s Defence headquarters. A statement by Chris Olukolade, Director of Information, said the mopping up operation by ground forces after air assault has confirmed the death of several terrorists located in the bases. According to him, civilians had earlier been evacuated from the vicinity of the identified terrorist enclaves in line with operation orders before the air and land assaults. He noted that extensive cordon and search of the entire locality is ongoing with a view to apprehending the wounded and other members of the terrorists group who might still be trying to flee. Meanwhile, on Sunday, troops in pursuit of the militants who carried out attack in Buni Yadi last week, had fierce encounter with the terrorists around Mainok and other locations between Apa and Abulum in Borno State. “The air and land operations that ensued recorded the death of some terrorists. Soldiers also died in the encounters.” The statement confirmed. Also, suspects who are believed to have been responsible for detonating the bomb at Bintu Sugar Ngamari area of Maiduguri, yesterday killing many citizens and wounding several others have been arrested and are helping in the ongoing investigation on the incident. Olukolade’s statement added that patrols are continuing on land and air in the entire mission area in North East towards apprehending or eliminating the rampaging terrorists in the area. The DHQ further dismissed as untrue the reports claiming that civilians were mistakenly killed in the air operations in some parts of the mission area. “The reports are believed to be part of the design by those bent on discrediting the counter terrorists mission. “Defence Headquarters has reaffirmed its directive that necessary care should continue to always be taken to ensure safety of innocent Nigerians in the operational areas, notwithstanding the fierceness of the encounters,” The statement said.

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