Soldiers on counterinsurgency operations in the North East have rescued 54, persons among them 25 children and 29 females abducted by the Boko Haram group in Borno State.

Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Saghir Musa, who made this known said the victims were rescued by troops alongside members of local vigilantes while on clearance operations at Ma’allasuwa and Yaga – Munye villages in the state.

The army spokesman in a statement said that the soldiers also destroyed two logistics vehicles and a make-shift camp belonging to the terrorists at Zari-Kasake and Jumachere villages in Damasak area of Mobbar Local Government Area of the state.

He further stated that soldiers arrested one

Sergeant Markus John, of the Police Mobile Force, found to be in possession of two magazines, 146 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition and one round of anti-aircraft gun.

He said the police sergeant was arrested at Njimtilo checkpoint along Maiduguri – Damaturu road while on his way to Lagos State during a search.

He said: “Troops of 22 Brigade, Operation LAFIYA DOLE in collaboration with local vigilantes have continued moving into the hinterland on clearance operation to destroy Boko Haram terrorists. Consequently, on May 11, 2019, troops effectively cleared Ma’allasuwa and Yaga -Munye villages in Borno State. No encounter with Boko Haram terrorists was made as they ran away before troops’ arrival leaving behind 54 suspected kidnapped victims. Out of the number, 29 are grown up women and 25 are children of various ages and sex. They have all been rescued.

“Similarly, at Zari – Kasake and Jumachere villages in Damasak general area of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State, troops of 145 Battalion Operation LAFIYA DOLE on clearance operation discovered and destroyed two Boko Haram terrorists’ logistics vehicles. Deserted BHTs make-shift accommodation was also destroyed.

“Additionally, Mopol Sergeant Markus John – Personel Number – PNo 383106, was arrested at Njimtilo checkpoint along Maiduguri – Damaturu road in possession of two magazines, 146 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition and one round of anti-aircraft gun concealed in his bag while on transit to Lagos State.

“Recall that on May 10, 2019, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE in conjunction with the Nigeria Police arrested 14NA7113208 Private Paul Ojochegbe and 12NA672586 Lance Corporal Oko Eke in possession of one disassembled AK 47 Rifle at the same N’jimtilo checkpoint.

“Nigerian Army will remain resolute in ending terrorism and other forms of insecurities across the country, and reiterates its appeal to the public to continue to provide useful information about suspicious movement of terrorists/criminals wherever they are seen hibernating in Nigeria.