The troops of the Multi National Joint Task Force may have killed a very high ranking member of the Boko Haram sect in the ongoing military operation in the North-East.
It was learnt that the insurgent’s commander whose identity was not revealed was killed in one of the joint raids carried out by Nigerian troops and their counterparts from Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
It was stated that the late commander was one of the top officers to the founder of the Boko Haram sect, Muhammad Yusuf.
The Boko Haram commander was said to have been killed during the battle of Malamfatori
Nigeria’s neighbouring countries are deploying a total of 3,600 troops to the Multi National Joint Task Force to aid the nation’s current onslaught against Boko Haram.
Out of the figure, Chad contributes the largest figure of 2,500 troops while Niger and Cameroon contribute 700 and 400 troops respectively.
It was stated that the insurgent’s top commander was killed in an air raid by helicopter gunships of the Nigerian Air Force involved in the combined operation with ground forces during the fight to reclaim some border towns from the insurgents.
Some of the towns liberated by the soldiers of the Multi National Joint Task Force from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon are Gamboru-Ngala, Malamfatori, Abadam, Kirawa and Ashigashiya and Michika.
It was learnt that troops had encircled Gwoza, and were moving against the town which was captured and made part of a caliphate announced by the insurgents last year.
An intelligence personnel said on Thursday that the Nigerian Army also made a big break in the battle against the insurgents by recovering some of the most lethal weapons captured by the Boko Haram fighters when they took over the Baga base of the task force.
The recovered equipment included “a Battle Armoured Tank equipped with comprehensive protective system and maximum firing distance and accuracy with anti-aircraft rotating mount; its fire accuracy is attained by range-finder, ballistic computer with a thermal barrel sleeve.”
Also in the list of the captured items are armoured personnel vehicles, artillery guns, arms and ammunition, and Hilux vehicles.
Our correspondent could not get the Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, to comment on the development as calls to his mobile telephone line could not connect.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram fighters have shot or burned to death about 90 civilians and wounded 500 in the ongoing fighting in a Cameroonian border town near Nigeria, officials in Cameroon said on Thursday.