Abuja : More than 23 extremist militants, including a prominent Commander of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), were killed in counterterrorism operations by the Nigerian military in the country’s northeast region in the past three weeks, an official said.
The troops’ operations also forced 1,159 militants to surrender and led to the rescue of 619 abducted victims within the region during the period, Bernard Onyeuko, the spokesman for the military, told reporters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, on Thursday.
Onyeuko said the operations were conducted across Borno and Taraba states, with “impressive successes”.
According to him, the surrendered terrorists and their family members comprising 627 children, 367 women and 164 men had been profiled and handed over to the appropriate authority, Xinhua news agency reported.
The neutralised ISWAP Commander, identified as Abubakar Dan-Buduma, and other militants had a gunfight with the troops in the Marte local government area of Borno, the military official said, declining to give details about the actual date of the anti-terror operation.
He said a notorious ISWAP informant and logistics supplier identified as Mallam Abba Lawan was also arrested in Auno, a town in the Konduga local government area of Borno, during the period.
The counterterrorism operations led to the destruction of militants’ enclaves and their central workshop where vehicles are fabricated for vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, he added.