The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says troops of the Nigerian military and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) have killed 52 terrorists and arrested a leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Bauchi State.
The DHQ explained that the ISWAP leader was arrested during a sting operation at Tarum, a village outside Bauchi Metropolis.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
Although the DHQ didn’t reveal the name, it said the arrested ISWAP leader was in charge of North Central and North West zones.
According to the military high command, the arrest of the ISWAP leader was part of troops’ efforts at “targeting the leadership of terrorist groups to ensure they pose no further threat to the safety and security of citizens”.
Buba said ongoing military operations across the country have continued to decimate the fighting force of terrorists and other criminal elements and reduced their fighting capacity.
“The leadership of these groups remain the prime targets of ongoing operations. Accordingly, the armed forces remain determined to destroy the terrorists, insurgents and violent extremist groups in the Country and degrade their military capability,” he noted.
The defence spokesperson said airstrikes by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft sestroyed several enclaves of terrorist leaders in the North West and North Central zones in the past week.
Buba said: “The operations of the week in focus resulted in 52 neutralized terrorists, while 204 of them were arrested.
“Troops also arrested 58 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 234 kidnapped hostages.
“In the South-South zone, troops recovered 267,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 567,700 litres of illegally refined diesel and 5,000 litres of kerosene.
“Troops destroyed seven dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, 141 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, one outboard engine, one tricycle, one speedboat, one tugboat and 51 illegal refining sites.”
He added that the troops recovered 46 assorted weapons and 148 assorted ammunition, including 30 AK-47 rifles, two Josef magnum pump action guns, one double barrel gun, two single barrel guns, 12 locally made pistols, 13 Dane guns, one hand grenade, nine locally made rifles, 3 RPG chargers, and two locally made hand grenades.
Other items recovered, according to Buba, are 120 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 364 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 54 live cartridges, 11 rounds of empty cases of 7.62mm special ammo, 32 magazines, 34 vehicles, 64 mobile phones, 47 motorcycles and the sum of N1,582,690.0