The Nigerian Army has stated that 112 persons were killed in last month’s accidental airstrike at the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in Rann, Borno State. At least 97 persons were also injured during the attack.
This was disclosed by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, in Maiduguri.
He also revealed that 26 foreigners that had with Boko Haram were apprehended in the last one month by the troops of the Command.
Addressing a press conference in Maiduguri, Irabor said of the foreigners caught, 17 were Chadians and nine Nigeriens.
Added to the 26 foreigners arrested during operations, he said, was a Malian, simply identified as Ayuba; arrested in Dikwa who claimed he only speaks French.
Another major arrest made in Shehuri area of Maiduguri, according to Irabor was a suspected Boko Haram member who specializes in sneaking into Maiduguri suicide bombers.
Irabor disclosed that seven cattle rustlers were arrested in Monguno, and 34 cows were recovered from them.
Irabor said 3,332 suspected Boko Haram members who were arrested in January during operations against the insurgents are currently being screened to ascertain if they are indeed members of the group.
He equally revealed that five Boko Haram members willingly surrendered to the group.
Among the five is one, 31 years old Mohammed Abubakar, who has had his limb and arm amputated by the insurgents for trying to desert.
Abubakar in a brief interview with journalists, revealed how his right arm and left limb got amputated: “I told my friend Hassan Danguduma we have to flee and surrender because our activites are unIslamic, he pretended as if he supported the idea, but leaked the secret to our ameer. So they amputated my left leg and right hand from the wrist. But I managed to escape.”
He added: “I have been in the group for two years, they abducted me from Wulgo Hausari village Gamboru Ngala local government. For fear of being killed, I joined the group. I’m loyal to Mamman Nur-led faction”.
On the Rann misfire, Irabor said after the sad incident of Rann airstrike accident, coordinated emergency response was established for rescue and treatment of victims, surgical centre was equally set up.
He equally revealed that a board of inquiry was established by the Theatre Command to investigate the incident which proved it was a mistake and that 112 persons died and 97 others were wounded in the incident.
Irabor said the chairman of Kala Balge local government who told the press that 236 persons killed in the attack were buried by his people had come out to recant.
He said the chairman in an apology which he has on tape had come to apologize that he was pushed by extraneous forces to give a bogus figure
On other successes recorded in the last one month, Irabor said troops conducted several operation and recovered several arms, ammunition in Sambisa Forest.
He said five insurgents were killed around Sambisa Forest, in Dikwa nine militants were also killed.
He said, “In Monguno troops trailed and had an ecounter with insurgents, one militant killed. Troops conducted operations along Maiduguri-Dikwa road, killed two insurgents. In Gulumba-Gana road, with support of Cameroonian troops four terrorists were killed.”
He added that: “In Konduga-Yale area, hundreds of hostages were rescued. Also in Gulumba-Gana troops recovered arms. Terrorists after being dislodged from Sambisa Forest, relocated to Dusla area in Damboa local government, among them nine were killed.”
He however lamented that the recent highway attacks may not be unconnected with the displacement of the insurgents from their Sambisa Forest stronghold, insisting that the troops are on their trail and will soon neutralize them all.