Nigerian troops kill 15 terrorists, recover arms
Nigerian troops have killed 15 members of the Boko Haram terrorists, who were part of insurgents responsible for the mistaken deployment of rockets by the Nigerian Air Force in Rann, on Tuesday.
They also captured one terrorist, suspected to be a foreigner.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, confirmed the killing and capture of the terrorists in Rann on Friday, when he paid an operational visit to troops of 3 Batallion.
Buratai said the insurgents came again to the town in two gun trucks on Thursday at about 6p.m. to attack, but were repelled by the soldiers, who killed 15, while others escaped with one gun truck.
He added that the troops recovered the other truck with weapons, including one General Purpose Machine Gun, three AK47 and ammunitions.
Buratai recalled that the Tuesday’s incident, the Air Force component of the Operation Lafiya Dole based on intelligence that the terrorists had infiltrated Rann with intent to attack, deployed the rockets.
He, however, regretted that the weapons mistakenly hit IDPs camps in the town, killing over 50 civilians and wounding many others.
“Two of our soldiers were also affected in the unfortunate incident,” Buratai said.
He described the incident as unfortunate and big mistake.
“We have all learnt lessons from it.
“We will take note of this; the issue of coordination and passage of the right information will help to prevent such incident again.
“It is a mistake which can happen and it has happened in other places. We pray it never happen again,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while addressing the troops, Buratai urged them not to allow the unfortunate incident to demoralise them.
He charged them to remain committed, dedicated and patriotic, assuring them that their efforts would be rewarded.
The chief of army staff also met with elders of the community and condoled with them over the incident.
According to the Commanding Officer of 3 Battalion, Lt.-Col. I. P. Omoke, Rann was one of the last towns retaken from the insurgents on March 22, 2016.
Omoke said since then, the terrorists had made five failed attempts to attack the town but never succeeded.
Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno, is 175km from Maiduguri and 8km to the Republic of Cameroon.