By Bode Olushegun
The Nigerian military has intercepted ransom payment to suspected members of Boko Haram.
A statement on Thursday by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko said on 17 November 2020, troops of 251 Task Force Battalion deployed in Strong Response Area Molai acting on credible intelligence intercepted some Boko Haram criminals and relations of some kidnapped persons making efforts to pay a ransom of N2 million to the terrorists.
The statement added: “In a swift reaction, the gallant troops engaged the Boko Haram criminals forcing them to abort the collection of the payment as well as abandoned their captives.
“In the aftermath of the decisive encounter, one Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist was neutralized while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
“An AK 47 rifle and a motorcycle were recovered. The victims including two women and three children were all rescued unhurt.”
The statement said: “In another development, on 17 November 2020, troops of 151 Battalion conducted an aggressive fighting patrol to clear Boko Haram criminals hideout in the general area of Zaye Ngusa Village.
“The eagle eyed troops spotted the criminals and engaged them with superior fire power forcing them to withdraw in disarray as blood stains littered along their escape paths as one terrorist was neutralized.
“Same day, on 17 November 2020, troops of 202 Battalion conducted a successful ambush operation along one of the criminals crossing point leading to the neutralization of one Boko Haram criminal while several others are believed to have escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds under the cover of darkness.”
The statement further said: “Similarly, on 15 November 2020, troops of 26 Task Force Brigade in Strong Response Area Pulka in a well coordinated ambush operation along Pulka – Sabon Gari – Kirawa road intercepted Boko Haram criminals logistics convoy.
“On sighting the terrorists, the troops engaged the criminals with gun fire forcing them to flee abandoning their consignments.
“Items recovered were: eight bicycles, several bags of grains, assorted packets of drugs and other food items.”