A large number of Boko Haram insurgents have drowned in Lake Chad as they fled the bombardment by Nigerian Air Force.
Though the number of the dead terrorists was not given, it was said that many of them died as they fled the aerial attacks by NAF jets on Baga, the location of Multi-National Joint Taskforce base seized by the sect in January, 2015.
A statement by the Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade in Abuja on Saturday, said the insurgents had buried land mines in over 1,500 spots on the routes leading to the town.
It said all the land mines were skilfully cleared one after the other, noting that the mining of the grounds could not save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.
“A large number of terrorists have drowned in Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.
“Not even the strategy of mining over 1500 spots with land mines on the routes leading to the town could save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.
“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance of the as troops headed for Baga,” the statement added.
Olukolade said apart from the five anti-aircraft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and five vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga, noting that the troops finally began clearing the terrorists on arrival in the town early Saturday morning.
The Defence spokesman said a comprehensive cordon and search phase of military operation has now commenced to enable troops mop up arms and ammunition and also apprehend any terrorist who might be hiding in the vicinity.
The exercise, he added, would also determine details of the casualties inflicted or incurred in the course of the operations to clear Baga and environs of terrorists.
Olukolade said similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.
“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations; The morale of troops remain high,” he stressed.
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