The Nigerian army uncovered Wednesday five bombs planted by Boko Haram militants along a road in besieged Borno state. The troops cleared the explosives from the road which led from the northeastern town of Gwoza, the terror group’s former headquarters, to Yemtek, according to News24.
“The explosives have since been defused and destroyed by the team of Nigerian army engineers,” Nigerian army spokesman Col. Tukur Ismail Gusau told reporters in Abuja, according to the South Africa-based news station. The Nigerian military also discovered a suspected Boko Haram hideout in Dikwa, less than two weeks after recapturing the town from the Islamist militants in Borno state.
The hidden den was packed with weapons and equipment which were suspected to be used by the Nigeria-based terrorists to construct explosives. The troops recovered rocket propelled grenades, compact discs and machines used for drilling, filling and cutting, News 24 reported.
The military said in a statement Sunday it had rescued 178 people held captive by Boko Haram in northern Borno state, which has been the heartland of the group’s six-year insurgency. Among those freed were 101 children and 67 women, but it was unknown whether those rescued included the girls kidnapped from a school in Chibok last year. The Nigerian military said it had also cleared several terrorist camps in the area and captured a Boko Haram commander, according to local Channels Television.
Since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May and swore to eliminate Boko Haram once and for all, the extremist group has unleashed a fresh wave of violence and suicide bombings across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad that has claimed dozens of lives. Boko Haram, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has killed at least 15,000 people and displaced more than a million others since 2009.
“Nigerian military is working tremendously to ensure that the number of suicide bombings is reduced in the country,” Nigerian army Col. Sanni Usman told Channels Television in a telephone interview Monday. “What I am trying to say is that apart from the Nigerian army, other agencies are doing the best they could to ensure that the fight against terrorism and insurgency in any form is successful.”