Troops kill top Boko Haram commander, Abu Usamah – Official

FILE PHOTO: Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, addressing troops 

The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) have eliminated another top Boko Haram commander, Abu Usamah in an encounter on March 22 at Gorgi in Borno.

Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Onyeuko said that the military communication confirmed by accurate intelligence that Abu Usamah was among Boko Haram insurgents killed during the encounter.

He explained that Usamah had earlier sustained fatal gunshot wounds in the fire fight that ensued during the encounter before his foot soldiers hurriedly evacuated him and withdrew.

“Nevertheless, Abu Usamah died in the process.

“His death has no doubt created a consequential vacuum in the Boko Haram leadership particularly as the gallant troops remain resilient and continue to rout the criminal elements from their last enclaves in the North East.

“It would be recalled that on March 22, troops of OPLD, while conducting a special clearance operation in a subsidiary Operation called Operation AYISO TAMONUMA, decimated some key Boko Haram elements in an encounter at Gorgi in Damboa Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno.

“In our earlier Briefing, we reported over 100 Boko Haram insurgents neutralised while scores of them escaped with gunshot wounds.

“This was in addition to several equipment casualty suffered by Boko Haram insurgents,” he said.

Onyeuko further disclosed that troops of 159 Task Force Battalion on March 27, neutralised scores of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents who attempted to infiltrate their location at Forward Operating Base Kanama, Yunusari LGA of Yobe.

He said the terrorists were severely decimated by the gallant ground troops supported by the Air Component of OPLD.

“They withdrew in disarray under superior fire power and were subsequently crushed by own troops.

“Furthermore, during the encounter several terrorists were neutralised while one Gun Truck and various arms and ammunition were captured by the troops.

“These include; one DSHK Gun, two AK 47 Rifles and magazines, one Rocket Propelled Grenade bomb, 273 rounds of Anti-Aircraft Gun ammunition, 101 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition, 15 Jerri cans of Premium Motor Spirit and a Boko Haram Terrorists flag.

“Meanwhile, the Military High Command has congratulated the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending our fatherland against the criminal elements. They were equally enjoined to continue to be steadfast and relentless against the enemies of our nation,” he added.