Nineteen members of the Boko Haram terrorists’ group were killed during the Damboa, Borno State fire fight between troops of 25 Task Force Brigade and the terrorists.
Unfortunately, three soldiers paid the supreme prize in the battle according to a statement by the Coordinator of Media of Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Aminu Ilyisu on Thursday.
However, he said apart from the dead, many of the terrorists were also injured by the troop.
According to Ilyisu, the fighter jets bombarded Boko Haram’s den in Bakari Gana on the fringes of Sambisa forest.
The statement read: “A misguided attempt by some criminal Boko Haram elements to attack the troops of 25 Task Force Brigade (Army Super Camp 2) located in Damboa LGA of Borno State has met a crushing defeat in the hands of the resilient troops.
“The marauding criminals mounted on gun trucks and with a number of their foot soldiers attempted to infiltrate the troops’ location from three different fronts in the early hours of March 4.
“The troops responded swiftly, bringing to bear superior fire power against the criminals in conjunction with the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“The encounter which lasted for over an hour witnessed one of the most debilitating defeats of the Boko Haram criminals in a single encounter since the turn of the year.
“So far, 19 Boko Haram criminals’ bodies have been recovered. Some of the insurgents were observed escaping with various degrees of gunshot wounds by the troops who are on vigorous exploitation of their initial success along the criminals’ withdrawal route.
“Interestingly, the gallant troops captured from the Boko Haram criminals five AK 47 rifles, one general purpose machine gun and one rocket propelled gun tube.
“Regrettably, three valiant soldiers paid the supreme prize while four others were wounded in action. However, the wounded soldiers were evacuated to a military medical facility for immediate and effective management.”
The statement noted that both the Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum and Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai commended the 25 Task Force Brigade for their gallantry.
According to Iliyasu, Gen. Buratai urged the soldiers “to remain steadfast, loyal and resolute in the discharge of their professional responsibilities.”
Zulum, while commending the troops, said two women hit by stray bullets during the firefight died while some others were injured.
The governor, who said in a statement that he was particularly pleased that the soldiers recovered and destroyed 19 vehicles belonging to the insurgents after killing scores of them, added: “What I find even more impressive, was that after the insurgents retreated due to defeat, the military did not stay back; they remobilized and took the war to the fleeing insurgents and in the process, killed more insurgents and destroyed six more fighting vehicles, bringing to 19, the number of vehicles destroyed.”
He said further: “I find it compelling to salute our gallant soldiers of the Nigerian Army and Air Force, under Operation Lafiya Dole for a decisive blow against Boko Haram insurgents on Wednesday morning in Damboa town.
“At about 6a.m yesterday (Wednesday), squads of the insurgents cleverly attacked Damboa from different directions, believing their ambush was going to succeed in overunning the town.
“Unfortunately for the insurgents, they met a far more determined and battle ready military. Soldiers of the army fought from the ground, the Air force quickly deployed fighter jets while volunteers in the Civilian JTF and Vigilantes complemented them.
“At first stage, they destroyed 13 fighting vehicles after killing scores of insurgents, who drove on them.
“I salute our ground and air forces. I salute our volunteers who supported the military. I salute two volunteers, one each of the Civilian JTF and Vigilantes who paid the supreme price in trying to defend Borno and Nigeria.
“I commiserate with families of two women who died from stray bullets and wish those who sustained injuries a speedy recovery.
“I assure the people of Borno State that so much is being put in place in combined and very resolute effort, to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.