The Nigerian Army has said troops arrested 12 Boko Haram suspects, killing five and recovering gun trucks in the Auno and Biu areas of Borno State on Monday.
This came a day after the insurgents burnt vehicles and killed more than 30 people, mostly travellers, in Auno.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said in a statement on Wednesday that one of the 12 suspects, Umar Musa, was arrested along the rail line in Auno-Jakana in the Kaga Local Government Area of the state.
He said the other 11 suspects were “high-profile Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province logistics suppliers within the Biu Local Government Area.”
Iliyasu named them as Aminu Abubakar, Gambo Abubakar, Abdullahi Alhaji, Zaradini Jafaru, Lawali Abdullahi, Lawali Sando, Sule Ahmadu, Audu Haruna, Isiya Salisu, Usman Ahmadu and Mallam Abbas.
He said they also cleared Lassa, Jewu, Wazilongla, Male and the Jakana rail line to Maiduguri, as well as other suspected Boko Haram hideouts.
He said they recovered gun trucks from the hoodlums in Auno and Tungushe.
Iliyasu said, “On February 10, based on credible information about the criminal activities of some Boko Haram elements along the Rail Line in Auno-Jakana, troops of the 212 Battalion mobilised and cleared Lassa, Jewu, Wazilongla, Male, Rail Line Jakana – Maiduguri and other suspected Boko Haram hideouts.
“During the operation, troops arrested one Boko Haram criminal named Umar Musa at an abandoned Boko Haram hideout. Troops discovered one abandoned Boko Haram’s gun truck at Jewu village.
“Also, the troops of the 212 Battalion deployed in Tungushe in the Konduga LGA of Borno State made contact with some Boko Haram criminal elements mounted on six gun trucks. Three Boko Haram criminals were neutralised while one Buffalo Gun Truck, one anti-aircraft gun, two AK-47 rifles and 60 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were also captured.
“Regrettably, one soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter.
“Troops of 3 Battalion deployed at Rann delivered a devastating blow on some Boko Haram elements who attacked the troops’ location in four gun trucks alongside a number of their foot soldiers. The troops responded swiftly and neutralised two of the criminal insurgents.”
He said troops of the 21 Special Armoured Brigade also conducted a clearance operation in Kote, rescuing seven women and nine children held hostage by the insurgents.