Richard Ginika Izuora
The Nigerian Army, on Thursday, January 21, dismissed media reports that terrorists had overrun a military base in Marte Local Government Area (LGA), of Borno between January 15 and January 16.
Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator Defence Media Operations, made the clarification while giving an update on military operations in the last week, aimed at addressing current insecurity challenges across the country.
It was recently reported that the Boko Haram/Islamic West Africa Province, ISWAP, terrorists, had attempted to attack troops’ location at the outskirts of Marte, but were repelled.
The Army eliminated a number of them and destroyed 13 gun trucks belonging to the terrorists.
Enenche explained: “The story going round as it were that the base (at Marte) was taken over is not true. The attackers came in through one of the checkpoints at a filling station.
“When they came to that checkpoint in order to attack, the troops there had to do what we call tactical withdrawal.
“That tactical withdrawal is to move away so that they (terrorists) can now go into the killing ground.
“At times, we have to pull out and draw them into the killing ground; that is what we did and it achieved result. When you do that (tactical withdrawal), you now call for air support.
“Several of them were killed; 13 gun trucks were destroyed at the end of the day.’’
The Nigerian Army coordinator added that the capabilities of the insurgents in the North East were being degraded as they no longer had freedom of action within the theatre of operation.
Similarly, Enenche said that between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20, troops of Operation Delta Safe, tackling economic crimes in the South-South Zone, demobilised six illegal refining sites and 11 wooden boats.
He said that they also demobilised 52 Gee Pee tanks, 102 metal tanks, 17 dugout pits and 45 ovens.
Enenche said that the troops arrested 24 suspects and recovered 14 pumping machines, two speed boats and 13 outboard.