The Federal Government on Thursday said 15 Chadians were among the 42 Boko Haram insurgents killed in Biu, Borno State, when the terrorists attacked the town on Wednesday.
The Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, who confirmed this while briefing journalists in Abuja, also said that the Department of State Security would investigate the five militants captured alive during the operation.
Omeri also said that security forces would ensure that the Chibok girls, seized from their school nine months ago, were freed.
At the briefing, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Sani Sidi, disclosed that the number of Nigerians displaced by the activities of insurgency and natural disasters had increased to 981,416.
Omeeri said, “Despite the fact that it is nine months since our girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok town, government has not relented and will not relent in deploying all efforts to ensure the rescue of these girls. The government therefore reassures the parents and relations of these girls, and in fact all Nigerians, of its commitment in this regards.
“The Nigerian Army successfully countered an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants near the town of Biu, Borno State. At least 42 insurgents, including 15 Chadians were killed during an intense ground battle, which saw the military repel and then advance on militants.
“As the military gained and held ground against the militants, remaining insurgents retreated. Five militants were captured and have been taken to a secure facility for questioning. Nigerian officials led by the Department of State Services will conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the five militants captured to determine if they were involved in any other atrocities conducted against the Nigerian people.
“Those found to have committed any crimes against the state will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in accordance with international standards and best practice. This operation is another example in a string of recent successes against Boko Haram.
“Security forces will continue to make remarkable progress against these terrorists. The recent rise in suicide bombings is clear evidence that Boko Haram is running out of options. The government is fully committed to ensuring that all militants are rooted out from their hiding places and a safe and secure country for all Nigerians is restored.”
Omeri, who is also the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, also confirmed that insurgents killed three civilians and injured at least 21 people in a suicide bomb attack near a mosque at Kasuwan Mata, Gombe State, on Tuesday.
He said that security forces had established presence on the ground to provide a safe and secure environment for the Nigerian Red Cross Society and other humanitarian agencies to provide critical assistance to those injured.
Omeri also disclosed that NEMA was taking care of 3,200 internally-displaced persons from Baga, currently accommodated in the Teachers’ Village Camp, a secure facility in Maiduguri.
The camp is operated by NEMA in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Nigerian Red Cross.