TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY MAJOR GENERAL LEO IRABOR THEATRE COMMANDER OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE ON WEDNESDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2016 AT MAIDUGURI ON BOKO HARAM
1. It is my pleasure this afternoon to welcome you all to Headquarters Theatre Command in order to update you with the progress of our operations so far.
The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued to clear several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) in their hideouts and recorded huge successes.
Since the last brief till today, own troops have moved deeper into Sambisa forest on many fronts.
In order to fully understand the operational setting, I will give you a general overview of Sambisa forest and some other parts of the Theatre as shown.
2. Therefore, this brief will touch on some of the operations as follows:
a. Update on Operation RESCUE FINALE. As I told you the last time, Operation RESCUE FINALE is the continuation of Operation CRACKDOWN and is aimed at rescuing all the Chibok School Girls and other hostages held in Sambisa forest.
Since its commencement on 2nd November 2016, our troops have continued to make progress into the heart of Sambisa forest.
The current incursion into the Sambisa forest is on various fronts.
The troops were briefed by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division prior the commencement of the offensive operations at the Assembly Area.
(1) On one of the fronts, on 30th November 2016 the troops cleared Goneri before harbouring at Goni Kurmi.
While at harbour at Goni Kurmi the troops were attacked by the Boko Haram terrorists with the hope of slowing down their push.
The attack was successfully repelled with the Boko Haram terrorists suffering casualties. The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, different calibres of ammunitions and magazines.
The advance continued the following day and our troops successfully cleared Alafa 1, 2 and 3 respectively before harbouring at Bula Bello.
On 5th December 2016 the troops cleared all Boko Haram terrorists delay positions before capturing Njimia.
At Njimia our troops were attacked by the terrorists with Anti-Aircraft guns and small arms fire.
The attack lasted for about 30 minutes but was successfully repelled with Boko Haram terrorists suffering heavy casualties in both men and equipment before retreating.
However, one soldier and 2 Civilian JTF were wounded. The soldier and one Civilian JTF later died while being evacuated to the hospital.
Yesterday, at about 4.00pm, Intelligence Surveillance and Recconaisance aircraft identified Boko Haram terrorists massing up to attack own troops at Njimia.
Our Artillery and air assets were used to engage the Boko Haram terrorists which led to the destruction of 4 vehicles, a fuel tanker likely laden with Improvised Explosive Devices.
The Air Force also strafed and killed many fleeing insurgents. All the incidents are as shown.
(2) On the second front, the troops advanced and cleared all Boko Haram terrorists camps on their axis before harbouring at Amdaga on the first day.
At Amdaga the Boko Haram terrorists carried out a probing attack on our troops which was swiftly dealt with before the Boko Haram terrorists retreated.
The following day, troops cleared and occupied Dure and have been operating in the general area to intercept fleeing Boko Haram terrorists.
(3) The third axis moved from Bitta through Sassawa to Tokombore.
The troops cleared all Boko Haram terrorists camps on their axis and subsequently occupied blocking position towards Sambisa “S” Shape.
The special forces continued with the offensive and entered the River Line “S” Shape in the heart of the Sambisa forest.
However, our troops on this axis stepped on Boko Haram terrorists Improvised Explosive Devices which was immediately followed by Boko Haram terrorists attack.
The attack was successfully repelled with several Boko Haram terrorists killed during the encounter battle.
Unfortunately, we lost a soldier and 9 others were wounded from the Improvised Explosive Devices incident.
The dead and wounded soldiers were evacuated by the Nigerian Air Force. The wounded are currently receiving treatment in our Hospital.
(4) On the fourth axis, on 30th November 2016, the troops cleared Boko Haram terrorists camps at Jefe, Ndenema and Turori villages and subsequently harboured at Kazalamari village.
The advance continued the following day with our troops clearing the Boko Haram terrorists from Sambisa Gate 1. The troops successfully cleared and entered Sambisa Gate 1 at about 10.55am.