Operation Fire Ball Kills 23 Boko Haram, Rescue 3 Abducted Children
by Sadiq Abubakar
Troops of Operation Fire Ball Damaturu have killed 23 members of ISWAP in its recent operations across the North East theatre of operation Lafiya dole.
The troops also rescued three children and two women that were abducted by the boko haram terrorists while dangerous weapons, arms and ammunitions were also recovered from the insurgents.
The Acting Director, Defense Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko who stated this at Tuesday as a press conference held at the Army Super Camp Headquarters Ngandu added that the operations were a subsidiary operations launched under the Operation Lafiya Dole theater command headquartered Maiduguri purposely to root out the remnants of boko haram insurgents.
According to him, following the commencement of Operation FIRE BALL, a subsidiary operation under Operation LAFIYA DOLE, which is meant to clear the remnants of the Boko Haram/ Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists from their identified enclaves in the North East region.
Operation FIRE BALL has steadily progressed and satisfactorily too with significant results within the short period from its inception. The last 3 weeks of this month has proved to be a significant period against the criminals. This is because of the more successful operations conducted within the period.
“The gallant troops of Operation FIRE BALL in the various Sectors of the Theatre have continued to dominate the general areas of operation and carry out their tasks relentlessly and professionally. The successes so far achieved were made possible with the commitment and gallantry exhibited by the well-motivated troops within the period under review.
“The troops have carried out aggressive clearance operations, ambushes, robust day and night patrols in order to finally decimate the remnants of the Boko Haram/ISWAP criminals,” Bernard said
He further explained that”, as a result of the aggressive offensive actions carried out by the troops, several terrorist elements have been neutralized and large number of their equipment were captured including large quantity of their logistics consignment were intercepted by our gallant troops”.
“Most importantly, a number of women and children hitherto held captive were rescued unhurt. In this regard, 23 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were neutralized while one terrorist’s Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was captured alive during an encounter.
“Equally, the gallant troops courageously intercepted some Boko Haram criminals while attempting to collect ransom from relations of their abducted victims leading to the decimation of the criminals and successful rescue of 2 women and 3 children unhurt.
“In terms of the criminals’ equipment casualty, the following weapons were captured: 4 Gun Trucks, one Fabricated Vehicle Blind Leger, 2 Anti-Aircraft Guns, one General Purpose Machine Gun, 2 PKT Guns, 8 AK 47 Rifles, 2 AK 47 Rifle Magazines, one AK 47 Rifle Cover and one Dane Gun.
“Furthermore, large cache of ammunition were also captured. This include: 18 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 4 rounds of Brownie Machine Gun ammunition, one Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, One 36 Hand Grenade, 23 belted rounds of 7.62 x 54, One QJC Extra Barrel, 311 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition (Linked).
“Others include 511 rounds of PKT ammunition, 8 rounds of Light Machine Gun ammunition, One Service Tools Box, One gas cylinder (for making IED), 8 bicycles, several bags of grains, and assorted packets of drugs. Other assorted non-lethal items were also captured from the criminals”, Brig. Gen. Bernard said.
He regretted that 6 gallant soldiers were wounded in action over the period. “However, the wounded soldiers have since been evacuated to a military medical facility and are currently responding positively to treatment”, he said.
He commended the troops of Operation FIRE BALL under Operation LAFIYA DOLE for their resilience, doggedness and professionalism exhibited since the beginning of the Operation. He encouraged them not to relent, but to build on the successes recorded so far.
The Director of Defense Media further assured people of the North East region of the commitment of the Nigerian military high command determination to finally rout the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals from their enclaves in the zone, while appealing to them to equally avail the troops with credible information that will help in the execution of the operation.
Brig. Gen. Bernard also appreciated the media for their support and coverage of activities of the Nigerian military and solicited for their continuous support and cooperation.