Armed ViolenceNews

MNJTF Kills 22 ISWAP Fighters In Lake Chad Operations

The Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram in conjunction with federal troops, have killed dozens of insurgents in December.

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) on Thursday, Dec. 30, said its troops, with support from Nigerian troops, carried out a major operation in six Lake Chad locations that led to the death of at least 22 members of the ISWAP. 

Col. Mohammad Dole, spokesperson of the MNJTF, in a press statement released in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, said the MNJTF recorded a significant victory during a recently conducted special operation tagged  ‘Sharan Fage’, which they carried out with MNJT troops drawn from “Sector 3 Monguno (Nigeria) and Sector 4 Diffa (Niger).”

The  MNJTF spokesperson said the operation, which was also supported by troops of the main Operation Hadin Kai (Nigeria), largely “targeted Boko Haram/ISWAP criminal terrorists hibernating in the vicinity of Mallam Fatori town towards the fringes of the Lake Chad.”

He said the operation was “In line with its mandate of support for facilitating willing Internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugees to return voluntarily and safely to their ancestral homes.” 

The MNJTF, he said, “provided security for the continuous security enhancement work in this area and would do so until the inhabitants return.”  

He further disclosed that Operation Sharan Fage had also facilitated a hitch-free celebration of the Niger Republic’s  63rd Anniversary as a sovereign country on Dec. 18, 2021 in Diffa. 

He said during the days of the operation, “troops met strong resistance from the terrorists, who launched several mortar attacks, laid Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) along the troop’s route of advance and further attacks with Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs).”  

However, he said the troops brought superior firepower to bear on the insurgents, forcing them to abandon their enclaves in Arege, Gashigar, Asaga, Kainoa, Bana, And  Kamagunma enclaves which led to the death of 22 Boko Haram terrorists.  

“In the course of this operation, 22 Boko Haram terrorists were neutralised, five of their gun trucks destroyed, five motorcycles and several logistic bunkers were destroyed, while eight AK47 Rifles were recovered.,” Col. Dole said. 

A destroyed ISWAP vehicle  near Lake Chad. Photo Credit: MNJTF 

He, however, said “six members of the MNJTF (two officers and four other ranks) from both countries paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty with about 16 wounded in action.”

Seventeen suspects arrested in the general area of operations were being profiled, according to him.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Khalifah Ibrahim,  the Force Commander, MNJTF,  had on Wednesday during a debriefing exercise “commended the uncommon display of gallantry, professionalism and courage by the troops who have taken the fight to the criminal’s hideouts in their areas.” 

Paying tribute to the fallen soldiers, Gen. Khalifa “declared 2022 as a year of decision for the MNJTF” as he vowed to uproot the criminals from their hideouts on the lake. 

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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist currently employed as the Editor for Lake Chad at HumAngle. For over a decade, he has demonstrated a passionate commitment to reporting on the Boko Haram conflict and the crisis in the Lake Chad region of northeastern Nigeria. He is a graduate of English Language and holds a Diploma in Mass Communications. Prior to his current role, he served as an assistant editor at both Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper.

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