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6 Jul 2017

There is No proof of rising Boko Haram attacks, says military

The Nigerian military on Thursday said there is no proof that Boko Haram attack has risen in recent times.

It also said that highways that have a history of insurgency attacks would be patrolled aerially and also have stationed mobile land troops.

The military was said to have allowed the insurgents way back into attacking the nation after the initial success of capturing Sambisa Forest last year.

The insurgents in recent attacks have laid siege on the University of Maiduguri, laid ambushes on highways and allegedly kidnapped policewomen.

Addressing a press conference, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the head of military counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, said that in the last few weeks against the belief that there has been a rise in insurgency attacks there was no evidence to buttress that fact.

He disclosed that between March and July 19,642 Boko Haram captives were rescued by Nigerian troops in battles with insurgents which led to the killing of 404 terrorists with 810 others arrested,

He argued that what has happened is that the insurgents have made unsuccessful attacks in some areas which have gained mileage in the media.

He added that the attacks on the University of Maiduguri because of the eagle-eyed security on watch have largely been unsuccessful.

On recent successes of counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, Attahiru said among the terrorists killed by troops includes Abu Fatimah, a wanted notorious leader of the terrorist group.

He said Abu Fatimah was killed in Talala, Damboa local government area of Borno state, also killed was another terrorist, Mustapha Salihu on the wanted list.

He said that within the period under review, a total of 97 incidents of improvised explosive devices were recorded with minimal casualties, adding that five Boko Haram terrorists who disguised as IDPs to cause havoc among the camp of 404 IDPs in Damboa were apprehended by the military.

He said “These successes were not without some cost as the Army lost one officer and 12 soldiers while 4 others were wounded in action at various operation in the said period.

“We are using this opportunity to call on residents of Borno and Northeast to join hands with the Military in bringing to an end the menace of insurgency in the region. The residents should as well be vigilant with their wards as Boko Haram terrorists have resorted to the use of women and children as Suicide bombers.”

While saying that 70 terrorists surrendered to troops in Gwoza, the Theatre Commander added that more insurgents have indicated willingness to surrender.

He said, “Very soon the issue of ambush on convoy on highways will be a thing of the past as the Army will in few weeks introduce a measure to checkmate these occurrences.”

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