The Nigerian Army says its troops have neutralised and captured more Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa’s Province (ISWAP) terrorists and rescued 165 women and children from their captivity in Borno State.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the operations were carried out in conjunction with the troops of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJT).
Iliyasu said the troops of Nigerian Army Super Camp 7 deployed at Bama area of the state killed one terrorist, captured one alive and rescued eight women and six children at Tafana 1, 2 and 3 villages in Bama on Dec. 27, 2019.
He disclosed that the rescued children were immediately administered with Polio Vaccines.
According to him, troops captured Boko Haram flags, recovered 16 arrows and 32 refilled rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition during the encounter.
Iliyasu also disclosed that troops of 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Super Camp 2 in Damboa, arrested a high profile Boko Haram informant/logistics supplier, Ibrahim Buba and two others suspected to be his couriers at Shuwari village in Damboa District.
He added that troops of 242 Battalion in Monguno, arrested suspected terrorists’ logistics suppliers, Abubakar Aisami and Modu Baba with food stuff and drugs concealed in a bag of smashed corn powder for delivery to the terrorists.
Iliyasu further disclosed that the troops of Sector 3 Mobile Team in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Multi National Joint task Force recovered and destroyed 15 vehicles belonging to the Boko Haram terrorists in northern Borno.
He added that the troops also arrested 75 suspected Boko Haram agents and rescued 147 civilians comprising 79 males and 68 females who had been under the captivity of the terrorists.
According to him, the rescued civilians were conveyed to a humanitarian facility in Monguno and thereafter handed over to officials of Borno State Emergency Management Agency.
“The children among them were administered with polio vaccine by the Buratai Intervention Task Force Initiative,” he said.
Iliyasu further disclosed that the Nigerian troops of 35 Battalion in Katsina State in conjunction with the State Amnesty Committee, had achieved milestone in addressing the menace of banditry in the state.
In Zamfara, he said that the troops of 8 Division neutralised a bandits and recovered one AK 47 Rifle loaded with 13 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and rustled animals.
“Also of significant note, troops of 1 Division Garrison on 25 December 2019 during security patrols arrested one Mr Moses Ali with a locally made gun loaded with 9 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition at Ningon Gari in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State.
“The same gallant troops arrested 7 suspects during a Cordon and Search operations conducted at 13 settlements of Kuyeri Mountains along Jere – Kagarko Road in Kagarko LGA of Kaduna State,” he said.
Iliyasu said that the troops of Operation MESA in Plateau State also arrested five suspected Sara Suka militia group members with some quantities of substance suspected to be Cannabis Sativa and other illicit drugs in Jos North area.
He added that the Chairmen of Langtang North and South Local Government Areas handed over recovered weapons and accessories from repentant militias to the troops of Nigerian Army Forward Operational Base, Shendam on Dec. 24.
“This landmark submission of arms and ammunition portend great prospect for a reign of peace and security on the Plateau and its adjoining environs.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has commended personnel of the Nigerian Army for the successes so far recorded throughout the Year 2019 in Operation LAFIYA DOLE and all other operations across the Country.
“He assures them of improved welfare in the Year 2020 and further commends Field Commanders and Principal Staff Officers as well as other officers and men for their efforts in implementation all strategic directives in the preceding year,” he said.
Africa records over 444,000 cases of COVID-19
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says there are currently over 444,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Africa.
The UN health agency gave an update on its regional official Twitter account @WHOAFRO.
“There are over 444,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the African continent – with more than 214,000 recoveries and 10,800 deaths,’’ it said.
The regional office stated that South Africa has 177,124 cases and 2,952 deaths, followed by Nigeria with 27,564 confirmed cases and 628 deaths, while Ghana has 18,892 confirmed cases and 117 deaths.
It added that Gambia, Lesotho, and Seychelles were countries currently with the lowest confirmed cases in the region as the Gambia had 55 confirmed cases with two deaths.
Lesotho had 63 reported cases and zero death, while Seychelles had 81 reported cases with no death, “the office said.
Meanwhile, WHO in a statement posted on its website urged African countries to take strong safety measures against COVID-19 as they resumed air travel.
“As African countries begin to reopen borders and air spaces, it is crucial that governments take effective measures to mitigate the risk of a surge in infections due to the resumption of commercial flights and airport operations.
“Many African governments acted swiftly, implementing confinement and travel restrictions in the early days of the pandemic.
“In the WHO African Region, 36 countries closed their borders to international travel, eight suspended flights from countries with high COVID-19 transmission, and others had partial or no restrictions.
“So far Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, and Zambia have resumed commercial flights. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States is expected to open their airspace on July 21.
“While open borders are vital for the free flow of goods and people, initial analysis by WHO found that lockdowns along with public health measures reduced the spread of COVID-19.’’
The UN health agency said even with border restrictions, imported cases had sometimes brought back COVID-19 to countries that had not reported cases for a length of time.
“For example, Seychelles had not had a locally transmitted case since April 6, 2020, but in the last week 66 new cases – all crew members of an international fishing vessel – have been recorded,’’ it said.
The statement quoted Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as saying: “Air travel is vital to the economic health of countries.
“But as we take to the skies again, we cannot let our guard down. Our new normal still requires stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.’’
To resume international air travel, WHO recommended that countries assess the epidemiological situation to determine whether maintaining restrictions outweighs the economic costs of reopening borders if, for instance, there is the widespread transmission of the virus.
“It is also crucial to determine whether the health system can cope with a spike in imported cases and whether the surveillance and contact tracing system can reliably detect and monitor cases.”
According to the statement, it is important that countries have systems in place at points of entry including airports.
“Comprehensive entry and exit screening should be considered based on risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, and as part of the overall national response strategy.
“Such screening may target, as a priority, direct flights from areas with community transmission. In addition, observance of preventive measures such as personal hygiene, cough etiquette, physical distancing remains crucial.
“Passengers should be registered and followed up, and if they develop symptoms be advised to inform health authorities.’’
The statement further quoted Moeti, as saying: “The resumption of commercial flights in Africa will facilitate the delivery of crucial supplies such as testing kits.
“It will also facilitate the delivery of supplies such as personal protective equipment and other essential health commodities to areas that need them most.
“It will also ensure that experts, who can support the response can finally get on the ground and work.”
Fire guts Oloje market, Ilorin
A fire started in one of the shops at the popular Oloje market located along Alimi Road, Oloje area, Ilorin, Kwara state, and has now gutted parts of the market on Sunday.
The Nigerian Tribune gathered that the cause of the fire was suspected to be an electric spark in the wiring system of one of the affected shops, leading to the inferno.
It was learned that the fire started at about 2:00 am on Sunday and completely burnt down five shops out of about 50 shops in the ancient Oloje market, Illorin.
Newsmen gathered that it took efforts of the men of the state fire service to prevent the fire from spreading to other shops.
According to the head, media, and publicity for the Kwara state Fire Service, Hassan Hakeem Adekunle, “The Kwara State Fire Service was summoned to the incident through telephone exchange call by one Mr. Isaqi around 02:44hrs.
“We arrived at the scene exactly 02:49hrs and met the fire well alighted. But due to the potential of our well experienced and especially skilled personnel in the State Fire Service, the fire was quickly put under control from further spreading to other shops within a twinkle of an eye, before it was totally extinguished.
“Out of about 50 shops, only five shops were affected as a result of tremendous performance of able firemen on the ground.
“However, the cause of the fire was suspected to be an electric spark in the wiring system of one of the affected shops, thereby caused the inferno.
“Therefore, the director of Kwara State Fire Service, Alhaji Waheed I. Yakub, urges the general public to cultivate the habit of “playing safe” at all times. Also, pray for the victims to recover all their loss on time in the name of Almighty God. Ameen”.
Troops eliminate 75 terrorists, rescue 35 victims in 17 encounters in June – DHQ
Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole eliminated 75 Boko Haram/Islamic States West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in 17 encounters within the North-East theatre of operation in June, Defence Headquarters has disclosed.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Sunday, said the sustained onslaught by the troops also resulted in surrendering of a number of insurgents during the month.
He added that the encounters also led to the capture of assorted arms and a large cache of ammunition, including one anti-aircraft gun, 13 AK-47 rifles, one sniper rifle, 21 locally made guns, two Dane guns, and one rocket-propelled gun.
Other items captured, according to him, were three hand grenades, five rocket-propelled gun bombs, 205 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition, and 1,018 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
“Also captured were two Boko Haram criminals’ flags.
“In the same vein, one gun truck, one vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device, one Toyota Starlet car, and several makeshift structures belonging to the terrorists were destroyed by the valiant troops within the period.
“Regrettably, one officer paid the supreme price while one soldier was wounded in action.
“The wounded personnel has since been evacuated to a military medical facility where he is recuperating,” he said.
Enenche further disclosed that four terrorists, including two women, Aishatu Manye and Kelune Mate, identified as wives of the local Boko Haram commander at Gajingi in Madagali area of Adamawa, were captured during the period.
He added that the troops also arrested one Boko Haram spy named Kawalu, in Michika while another Boko Haram fighter was captured in an encounter at Miyanti general area in Bama area of Borno.
According to him, the period under review also witnessed four surrenders by Boko Haram criminals.
“The trio of Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun, and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Strong Response Area, Pulka, in Gwoza, while one Mustapha Kori surrendered to troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru, Ngala, in Borno.
“It is equally heart-warming to note that during the period, troops rescued 35 persons from the captivity of BHTs/ISWAP criminals.
“Amongst those rescued were 18 women, 16 children, and one adult male.
“Polio vaccine was promptly administered on the rescued children in line with the Buratai Intervention Initiative while First Aid was administered on the women as required.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has commended the troops for the resilience and patriotism they have continued to demonstrate in crushing the remnants of BHTs/ISWAP criminals.
“He also urges them to maintain the tempo against the criminals as we approach the end of the insurgency in our country.
“In a similar vein, the Military High Command encourages the troops of Lafiya Dole to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of terrorists and their collaborators in the North-East zone of the country.
“The high command equally appreciates Nigerians for their support and urges them to continue providing timely information to troops on activities of BHTs/ISWAP collaborators in their respective localities for prompt and effective action,” he said.
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