Over 100 troops were reported missing during a fierce battle with Boko Haram on Wednesday at Gudumbali, Guzamala Local Government, some 260 kilometres north of Maiduguri but the army claims they have received no official report on missing soldiers.
Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Abubakar Yusha’u, Thursday said there was no report of soldiers missing in combat.
Gen Yusha’u told newsmen in Maiduguri Thursday that the army was yet to receive any report about missing troops.
“We captured and held Gudumbali. Of a truth we were attacked by Boko Haram but we repelled the attack. We don’t have any report of missing soldiers so far. As far as we’re concerned, the operation is still ongoing. In fact, I spoke with the OC (Officer in Charge) this afternoon and all I can tell you is that our troops are holding the ground. We will let you know if there is any development,” he said.
Also, Yusha’u disclosed that Boko Haram men have resorted to sending their wives and children to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri, Borno State due to sustained military onslaught on them in their hideouts in the bushes.
The commander also said desperate Boko Haram men now push their families to the IDPs camps in Maiduguri and subsequently attempt to enter the city through various means. He said some of them have been arrested while attempting to enter the capital. He said the insurgents’ logistics including food supplies and fuel have been degraded, forcing them to send their families to the city. He assured that the military in collaboration with other security agencies was taking precaution to ensure the insurgents do not create more harm at the IDPs camps.
He revealed that the mastermind of ambush on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai mid September has been arrested in Matari village in Yobe State. He said another Boko Haram suspect, John Trankil arrested on November 14 at Kasuwar Shanu in Maiduguri by the troops of the Garrison Command, is a Chadian.