By Nkasi Kolie
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Thursday said a total of 5,890 terrorists, including foot soldiers and their commanders have, so far, surrendered with their families to soldiers fighting the counterterrorism war in the North East Zone of the country.
Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, who made the disclosure, also said another 565 Boko Haram terrorists, comprising three Commanders, four Amirs, five Nakibs and five cattle rustling specialists, out of the surrendered BHTs and their family members were handed over to the Borno State Government, in Maiduguri, for further management after thorough profiling.
This is coming just as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, allayed the fears of Nigerians over the ongoing mass surrendering of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province ex-fighters.
Irabor attributed the mass surrender to the ongoing intensive clearance operations being carried out by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, to restore permanent peace in the Zone.
Onyeuko, at a media briefing held at the Defence headquarters on updates of military operations, conducted between August 12 -September 2, across the country, said soldiers killed 48 terrorists in the period under review, arrested
20 others and destroyed their logistics base and facilities, including three gun trucks.
He listed other weapons recovered during the operations to include 52 assorted arms, 1,977 rounds of 7.62mm assorted calibre ammunition, including AK-47 and FN rifles with magazines, hand grenades, commando mortar guns, locally fabricated rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, Dane guns and Nigerian Police rifles, among other items.
He added that seven terrorists collaborators/informants and logistics suppliers were arrested and handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary actions, while soldiers with support from the air component foiled terrorists attack in Borno State.
The DMO spokesman, while noting that military operations conducted across the country have continued to yield tremendous successes, said 15 armed bandits and two armed robbers were killed by soldiers on anti banditry operations, 13 bandits informants arrested, while 15 motorcycles and two AK 47 rifles recovered. He also said that 33 kidnap victims were rescued, 66 criminals arrested and some vandalised railway sleepers/tracks were recovered within the period in focus.