DHQ outlines prerequisite of ongoing counter-insurgency operations … as troops neutralise 192 terrorists, arrest 341 persons, rescue 62 kidnapped hostages

Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa

 

By TOM CHIAHEMEN, Abuja –

 

Press Release On Ongoing Military Operations By The Armed Forces Of Nigeria As At 14 March 2024

 

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), has declared that the prerequisite of ongoing counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations by the military across the country is “defeating the terrorists and dismantling their military, administrative and political capabilities.”

 

The Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Edward Musa, stated this in Abuja on Thursday, saying that “accordingly, through our operations, we are continually boxing in the terrorist and dismantling their resupply routes.”

 

Major-General Musa, was briefing the media on on-going military operations by the Armed Forces of Nigeria, said the military was working decisively to neutralize the terrorists, dismantle their networks and create conditions whereby they cannot carry out acts of terror or harm citizens.

 

“It is for these reasons that the armed forces would continue to hunt the leadership of these terrorist groups everywhere across these theatres of operations,” he explained.

 

He disclosed that within the last two week, troops neutralised 192 terrorists and arrested 341 persons, while rescuing 62 kidnapped hostages.

 

In addition, a total of 122 ISWAP/JAS combatant terrorist surrendered with their family members, while troops also arrested 37 perpetrators of oil theft and denied oil theft of the estimated sum of N821,248,740.00.

 

“Furthermore, troops recovered 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 assorted ammunitions made up of 128 AK47 rifles, 26 dane guns, as well as 1,301 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 3,260 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,325 live cartridges and 140 round of 9mm ammo, among other items,” he said.

 

He disclosed that troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 99 dugout pits, 36 storage tanks and 192 cooking ovens and that during the process, the troops recovered 349,970 litres of stolen crude oil, 112,135 litres of illegally refined AGO, 7,560 litres of DPK and 13,000 litres of PMS.

 

 

Major-General Musa noted that being a professional force, due diligence by way of Intelligence, Surveillance and Recogniance was painstakingly taken to distinguish the terrorist before air strikes are conducted.

 

“These air strikes have resulted in the death of several of these terrorist leaders and the cohorts hibernating in enclaves across the theatres of operation,” he said.

 

 

He said it should therefore not be surprising that these terrorists and their sympathisers plot on blackmailing the military as a result of these air strikes.

 

“The plot is to depict some casualties as innocent citizens rather than cohorts of these terrorist. It is therefore important for the media to be wary of the antics of these terrorist groups and their sympathisers. Our operations have prevented these evil elements from accomplishing their strategic objectives,” he said.

 

 

While acknowledging that there was still a challenging and tough war campaign still ahead, Major-General Musa said “overall, our objective is to defeat the terrorist and their cohorts by denying them the ability to continue to fight.”

 

 

He explained that the lifeline of the terrorist groups was the people. “Winning the war without the support of the people is close to impossible. It is for this reason that we encourage the civil populace and civil societies to galvanise support in a whole of society approach to facilitate the total defeat of these terrorist. The time is now for citizens to know that they have a responsible to the nation,” he said.

 

The DMO Director, who described the current security situation in the country as self-inflicted, lamented that some of the acts being perpetrated by some agitators were against the constitution, stressing that it was unacceptable for persons or groups to take up arms against a constituted government.

 

“Anyone or group that contravenes this provision of the constitution is inviting severe military action and would be dealt with decisively,” he warned.

 

 

“Above all, the fighting spirit of our men and women in uniform is strong, resilient, focused, proud and committed. We understand that we have no choice but to continue to fight to defeat the enemy and create a safer environment for citizens,” Major-General Musa said.

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