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Last updateSam, 31 Jan 2015 10am

Military kills 20 Boko Haram insurgents

Abuja, Nigeria - The Nigerian Defence Headquarters Thursday announced that the military had killed 20 Boko Haram terrorists during a foiled attempt by the insurgents to attack Ajiri and Mafa as well as other communities in the outskirt of Maiduguri and Dikwa in North Eastern State of Borno State.

The military also foiled the terrorist attempts to escape towards the border with Cameroon.

Defence spokesman, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said in a statement  that the terrorists had laid an ambush that would have enabled them unleash terror on the communities unchallenged but were cleared by Nigerian troops on reinforcement mission.

Gen. Olukolade said that “arms captured from the terrorists include various brands of machine guns and improvised explosive devices.  Twenty insurgents died in the encounter, while own troops sustained varying degree of injuries.  Also, more camps were destroyed in encounters at various forests and mountain locations around Adamawa and Borno States.”

Defence Headquarters also expressed dismay with local and foreign commentators whom it claimed are bent on demoralising Nigerian troops by negative comments about their disposition to fight the insurgents.

Gen. Olukolade stated that “Defence Headquarters has noted with grave concern the inflammatory pronouncements by some highly-placed persons in government and some apparently sponsored commentators in and outside the country who have consistently given false and misleading remarks to describe the disposition of troops in the ongoing operations.

'It has become clear that this sustained campaign is intended to demoralize the troops and give impression that the military is overwhelmed by the terrorist group. This tendency is unfortunate to say the least.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, it is hereby restated that the Nigerian military cannot by any standard be overwhelmed by the insurgents neither will the devious antics of their sympathisers and sponsors demoralize the fighting spirit of troops. Nigerians and indeed all well-wishers are enjoined to discountenance the propaganda messages of the terrorists and their backers alleging the inability of Nigerians troops to handle the insurgency.”

Pana 07/08/2014