Troops of the Nigerian Army’s operation Hadin Kai have killed over 50 fighters of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Askira Uba LGA of Borno state.
ISWAP had, on Saturday, killed Dzarma Zirkusu, a brigadier-general and commander of the army’s 28 task force brigade, who was on his way for reinforcement in the area.
Three soldiers attached to the commander were also killed in the ambush laid by the insurgents.
In a statement on Monday, Onyema Nwachukwu, army spokesperson, said troops in the counter-offensive also destroyed combat equipment used by the insurgents.
“Troops of Joint Task Force, North East (NE), Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) have neutralised over 50 Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and destroyed several of their combat equipment in a fierce counter offensive in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State,” the statement reads.
“In the counter offensive, troops eliminated top commanders of ISWAP as well as foot soldiers. The gallant troops also unleashed massive destruction on the terrorists’ Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and several Gun Trucks.
“It would be recalled that 115 Task Force Battalion had an encounter with ISWAP terrorists in Askira Uba on 13 November 2021, during which the troops aggressively defended their location and followed up with a ferocious counter attack. Unfortunately, the Commander 28 Task Force Brigade alongside three of his soldiers paid the supreme price, as they reinforced troops to defend the location.
“While the battle raged, the gallant troops of 25 Task Force Brigade, supported by Air Component of OPHK, engaged the terrorists in a hot pursuit. Troops made contact with the fleeing terrorists at Leho village within Askira Uba LGA and in the encounter that ensued, troops eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their combat equipment.
“The equipment destroyed by troops include, an MRAP vehicle and 11 Gun Trucks. The troops also recovered large cache of arms and ammunition viz., Five Gun Trucks, two Anti Aircraft Guns, five AK 47 rifles, one HK Machine Gun and one HK Machine Gun links.
“Relatedly, troops of 115 Task Force Battalion conducted a dawn exploitation towards Leho village and environs, where they discovered 3 corpses of the fleeing terrorists and also recovered 2,560 rounds of 7.62mm Special and 29 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition abandoned by the terrorists.”
In a separate operation, Nwachukwu said troops recovered one AK-47 rifle and an improvised explosive device (IED) during a patrol in Karawa village and Baga fish dam area, respectively.
The IED, he said, has been safely detonated by a team from the explosive ordnance disposal unit.
He added that Faruk Yahaya, chief of army staff, also led a team of senior officers to pay a condolence visit to the family of the late commander.