The Nigerian Army says that the recent Boko Haram video, blaming the military for mass civilian killing in Sambisa forest was archival.
Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole stated this while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri.
“On the recent video released by Boko Haram terrorists through the social media, I wish to state that all the attacks shown in the video were archival materials gathered by the terrorists over a long time.
“The incidents were in those days that the terrorists lived in illusion, currently, they have lost initiative and have been routed,” Irabor said.
He added:“ The video is an elusive attempt to recruit support. I therefore implore you all to inform the public to be rest assured that there is no cause for alarm as far as the degradation of the terrorists capabilities is concerned.
“These are confused bad elements of the society who are suffering from shock of total defeat from the military. As you all know, these are mere Boko Haram propaganda which could not hold any water”.
Irabor renewed calls on the militants wishing to surrender to do so without wasting much time.
“Let me once again use this medium to remind the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists that their days are numbered because their future is going to be disastrous if they fail to surrender and lay down their arms.
“I wish to encourage them to take advantage of this window of opportunity to surrender as failure to do so would be hugely regretted,” he said.
Irabor said that the efforts of the ground forces and air strikes by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had further degraded the terrorists.
“On July 23, own troops sprang an ambush against terrorists element between Komala and Musafanar, some terrorists elements on motorcycle and bicycle were engaged while trying to cross Sambisa Forest.
“Consequently, two suspected terrorists were killed while several items were recovered which include 2 AK47 rifles, 4 loaded AK47 magazines, assorted food items, laundry items, a motorcycle, 2 bicycles and assorted clothing,” he said.
Irabor added:“On July 28 at about 0700hrs, own troops conducted a clearing operation in Shauari 1 and the adjoining villages. The villages were successfully cleared and all terrorists structures were destroyed.
“In all five terrorists were killed while a dane gun and a bicycle were recovered. Also, some food items which were found in several houses were destroyed. Additionally, 13 suspected hostages comprised of a man, 6 women and 6 children were rescued.”
He added:“On July 28 at about 0510hrs, own troops at Pulka Crossing Point conducted an ambush operation. One terrorists was killed, while many escaped with gunshot wounds.
“Among the items recovered were one AK47 rifle, a General Purpose Machine Gun, a bicycle, a motorcycle, several live ammunition, a TECNO phone with Nexttel SIM card and food items in sacks.”
“On July 29 at about 1830hrs, own troops embarked on an ambush operation to a suspected terrorists Crossing Point off Damboa – Kubwa road towards Multe village axis.
“As troops laid in wait, some BHT elements on bicycles appeared and were accordingly engaged. Consequently, one terrorist was killed. Items recovered include an AK47 rifle with 14 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, a Dane gun (shaped like an AK47 rifle), a locally fabricated double barrel pistol and 4 bicycles.”
Irabor said that troops also conducted cordon operation in Gamboru after receiving a vital intelligence report on the terrorists.
“Following an intelligence report that large quantity of arms and ammo were being moved into areas outskirts of Gamboru for a possible terrorists attempt to retake Gamboru and Rann, own troops conducted a dawn cordon and search operations around Gamboru town.
“A total of 3 AK56 and 2 AK-L rifles were recovered. Also, 235 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and 7 AK magazines were recovered,” he said.
Irabor added: “On Aug 1, at about 2000hrs, own troops in response to a distress call at Yauri village. Own troops came in contact with some terrorists elements and engaged them.
“As a result of the operation, 5 terrorists were killed and several items were recovered which included 2 AK47 rifle, a General Purpose Machine Gun, a 60mm mortar tube, an FN rifle, 2 Dane guns, 2 AK47 magazines and 2 FN magazines. Others were 131 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 31 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, a 60mm mortar bomb, 10 bicycles and a sum of N31,275.00.”