The Nigerian Army said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai have killed no fewer than 50 Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
The terrorists had killed Brig-Gen Dzarma Zirkusu and three other soldiers in an attack in the same local government on Saturday.
In a statement on Monday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, said the troops engaged the terrorists in a counteroffensive attack and neutralised over 50 of them including top commanders of the terrorist group.
The statement was titled, ‘Update on Operation Hadin Kai: Troops neutralise scores of ISWAP terrorists, destroy equipment in Askira Uba counter-offensive.”
It read, “Troops of Joint Task Force, North-East Operation Hadin Kai have neutralized over 50 Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists and destroyed several of their combat equipment in a fierce counteroffensive in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
“In the counteroffensive, troops eliminated top commanders of ISWAP as well as foot soldiers. The gallant troops also unleashed massive destruction on the terrorists’ Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and several Gun Trucks.
“While the battle raged, the gallant troops of 25 Task Force Brigade, supported by Air Component of OPHK engaged the terrorists in hot pursuit. Troops made contact with the fleeing terrorists at Leho village within Askira Uba LGA and in the encounter that ensued, troops eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their combat equipment.
“The equipment destroyed by troops include, an MRAP vehicle and 11 Gun Trucks. The troops also recovered large cache of arms and ammunition viz., Five Gun Trucks, two Anti Aircraft Guns, five AK 47 rifles, one HK Machine Gun and one HK Machine Gun links.“
Onyema added that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya had led a team of top brass of the Nigerian Army to pay a condolence visit to the family of the late Commander 28 Task Force Brigade, Brig-Gen Dzarma Zirkusu on Sunday to commiserate with the families..
He, however, reaffirmed the troops’ renewed operational readiness to aggressively confront the terrorists.