Nigerian military authorities have announced a successful anti-terror operation along Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic during which suspected foreign mercenaries were arrested.
In a statement on its website, defence
headquarters said troops cleared and took over the Balmo forest, which stretches from Bauchi to Jigawa State. It is also said to be linked to the fringes Sambisa forest in Borno State where the kidnapped schoolgirls are believed to have been kept days after their abduction in April. The forest had been serving as bases and hideouts for the terrorists from where they launched attacks, the military said.
“Terrorists and armed gangs operating in the forests were completely rooted out while some were captured during the operation.
“Among those captured were two foreigners who are suspected to be mercenaries.
Also captured are several weapons and equipment including power generating sets, communication equipment, vehicles, motorcycles, foodstuff and kitchen utensils,” the statement said.
It further stated that over 44 terror suspects had died in Kerenoa and adjoining communities, following an encounter with troops “who repelled their attack on the communities”.
The insurgents were said to have been armed with explosive devices and other high calibre weapons when they carried out a predawn attack on the communities “but met with stiff resistance of the troops… several of them were captured as well as weapons and ammunitions of various calibre”.
In Banki and Miyanti in Borno State at the weekend, Nigerian troops were reportedly ambushed by the terrorists, leading to the death of six soldiers and a number of the militants.