Thursday, February 12, 2015

Soldiers invade Sambisa Forest

  The military has commenced an operation in   Sambisa Forest in Borno State to flush out   Boko Haram insurgents.The forest is widely believed to   host   some of the training camps and facilities of   Boko Haram in the North-East.It was learnt that the military high command decided to invade the vast forest in order to make the North-West safe for the general elections.

  A reliable source in the Army told one of  Punch correspondents in Abuja   that   Air Force jets started the raid on Monday. He added that surveillance activities and raids were also ongoing as of the time he spoke on Wednesday.The source, who did not want his name in print because he was not authorised to speak on the development, said that massive ground operation would follow the aerial operations .He said, “The military started an operation in the Sambisa Forest on Monday. For now, there are no specific cases of arrest; we don’t have that information now. The Air Force has been operating in the area since Monday. It is after that that the ground troops who are on red alert would be moved in.”
  Also, a source close to an office strategic to the operations   said   that a lot of activities were going on simultaneously in the forest and other parts of the North-East believed to host Boko Haram camps.He explained that the military was combing the   forest because of intelligence reports that some of the insurgents who were dislodged from some   communities in the North- East were moving back to the forest.The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, could not be reached for   comments on the raids as   calls to his mobile did not connect.
  Meanwhile, 800   children from areas affected by insurgency in Adamawa State   are currently undergoing psychotherapy in the state.Executive Chairman of the state Universal Basic Education, Bello Furo, who made this known explained that the psychotherapy was to minimise the trauma faced by the children whose   parents were either gunned down or slaughtered by Boko Haram insurgents.He said,  “The process will take some time because most of the parents were slaughtered before their children.“Right now, they do not have anybody to cater for them; they   lost their parents as a result of the insurgency.”
  Also in the state on Wednesday, the wife of the All Progressives Congress   presidential candidate, Aisha Buhari   donated drugs worth N135m to   Internally Displaced Persons   in Damare.Aisha, who   said   that it was unfortunate that the IDPs were refugees in their own country, showed   sympathy and   asked them to be steadfast in their prayers for   peace to return to the country, especially the North-East.Meanwhile,   Boko Haram   fighters attacked Chadian army positions in Gamboru, Borno State on Wednesday but were beaten back.
  The Chadian troops are in Gamboru as part of a regional offensive against the islamist sect, which had   staged several cross-border attacks over the past week.“We knew they were going to attack us. We were waiting. The battle didn’t last long. They fled,” a Chadian soldier said.He said that eight of his colleaques were wounded while three   Boko Haram vehicles were destroyed and one seized.
The   Chadian Army later   said in a statement that   13 Boko Haram fighters and a soldier lost their lives during the attack.Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Wednesday in Diffa, Niger Republic, a day after mortars and machine-gun shots were   heard in N’Guigmi on the country’s border with Nigeria.The town lies near Lake Chad, around 100 kilometres east of Diffa.

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