The Nigerian Army said it had recovered corpses of “one officer and 15 soldiers” earlier declared “missing in action” during an operation to dislodge the Boko Haram insurgents from Gashigar Area in Borno State, on October 16, 2016.
Theatre Commander of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, Major-General Lucky Irabor, disclosed this at a weekly review of ‘Operation Rescue Final’, at Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, the state capital, on Wednesday.
“The corpses were recovered at Kamadugou River line area in Maiduguri.
“Among the recovered corpses was that of Lieutenant-Colonel K. Yusuf, the former Commanding Officer of 223 Tank Battalion.
“They had since been buried in Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery with full military honours,” Irabor said.
Meanwhile, the Army, on Wednesday, said it arrested about 963 people suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists during an operation between January 4 and 9.
Major-General Irabor also disclosed this at the weekly review.
Irabor said: “On January 3, at about 1240 hours (12.40 p.m.), four women and 13 children were apprehended by vigilantes at Buni Yadi and were later handed over to our troops.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the women were wives of Boko Haram terrorists who fled Sambisa forest as a result of our operations. All suspects are in our custody undergoing investigation.
“On January 9, a surrendered Boko Haram member was identified as a male sympathiser and spy in Monguno area. We also identified two wives of Amir (Boko Haram Commander) from the arrested members,” he said.
He said that also on January 5, at about 1030hours (10.30 a.m.), following a tip-off, troops and the Civilian Joint Task Force arrested four Boko Haram suspects at Shuwari village.
“The suspects are Modu Auwami, Mamye Modu, Usman Kachanawa and Mallum Maji.
“During preliminary investigation, some local witnesses identified Auwami as one who provided medical treatment to injured terrorists.
“The other three suspects claimed they were abducted by the terrorists and that they only spent a few days in their camps.
He said that the suspects were now in the army custody undergoing further interrogation.
Irabor said that the suspects, who all confessed to be members of the Boko Haram sect, claimed to have come to town to buy Tramadol tablets.
He added that they were arrested with 27 sachets of Tramadol tablets, three sachets of Cowbell chocolate and the sum of N5,000.
Irabor also said that on January 5 at about 1130hours (11.30a.m.), 119 Nigerian internally displaced persons (IDPs) were handed over to Nigerian troops at Banki by the Cameroonian forces.
“The IDPs comprised 20 male adults, 25 female adults and 74 children, who were screened and moved to the IDPs camps,” the commander said.