This is coming barely one week after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the military to crush Boko Haram within three months and restore peace in the North-East of the country.
Speaking on the latest military operations in the North-East, Soldiers on internal security operations in the North East, acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said Nigerian Air Force warplanes bombarded Boko Haram camps in Sambisa Forest, killing scores, before ground troops moved in to complete the task of routing the insurgents.
Among insurgents killed by ground troops, he said, were a number of terrorists fleeing the Sambisa forest in seven pick-up vans and motorcycles.
He said at the camp of Boko Haram, soldiers recovered assorted weapons, including rocket propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns, two AK47 rifles and large quantities of 7.62mm NATO and 12.7mm ammunition, which were all destroyed along with the vehicles and motorcycles by the troops.
Colonel Usman said soldiers from 26 Task Force Brigade in Gwoza, Borno State, killed the terrorists. Assuring the people of the area of the continuous support of the army to protect them from any attack, he said troops had intensified patrols in the area in line with the new offensive against the terrorists.
Meanwhile, as part of his new strategy to tackle the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, has authorized the immediate establishment of a 2-level hospital at the largest internally displaced persons camp (IDPs) in Maiduguri.
In addition to the establishment of the hospital, the Air Chief also ordered the construction of a borehole to service the hospital and other people within the camp.
Also, the Nigerian Air Force has intensified the aerial bombardments of Sambisa forest. The F-7 fighter aircraft carried out interdiction mission over designated targets and suspected Boko Haram locations. The Alpha Jet carried out armed reconnaissance and attacked some moving vehicles belonging to Boko Haram insurgents.
While the Mi-24 and Mi- 35 attack helicopters further carried out interdiction mission at some identified targets all in Sambisa forest, the ATR-42 and Diamond-142 surveillance aircraft continued with their ISR missions over Damasak, Alafia and Sambisa forest where some abandoned vehicles belonging to the terrorists were seen at some locations in the forest.
In another development, the Defence Headquarters had denied reports that over 150 people from Kukuwa- Gari village were shot dead by Boko Haram gunmen in Yobe State while many others fleeing from the gunmen drowned in Yobe River in the mid-afternoon yesterday.
The military said the story was utterly scurrilous and very misleading, saying it was not true.
According to the military headquarters, the truth of the matter was that the military got an intelligence report concerning a planned attack by Boko Haram on Kukuwa-Gari village in Yobe State. -The Sun