Troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army, Operation Lafiya Dole, have rescued 85 people, mostly women and children held hostage by insurgents in Borno north, bordering southern fringes of the Lake Chad.
A statement by the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman on Sunday, said the hostages were rescued when the troops conducted a decisive clearance operation into the remnants of Boko Haram strategic town of Chukungudu.
Usman said the operation was led by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 7 Division, Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, between Friday and Saturday.
“The manoeuvring Brigade led by 3 Battalion of 22 Brigade, successfully cleared Geram, Bulankassa and Chukungudu believed to be the Boko Haram terrorists strongholds in that area,” Usman said.
He said the troops killed five terrorists in a fierce encounter that made several of them ran into the Lake Chad waters.
“The troops recovered four rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, one Double Barrel Gun, 349 packets containing various rounds of ammunitions, three magazines, a link belt of machine gun ammunition and one AK-47 rifle magazine,” he said.
According to Usman, during operations, the troops discovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making factory at Geram.
“In the factory, they found several already primed suicide bombers’ vests.
“They also discovered a well equipped motor vehicles and motorcycles’ workshop and spare parts wharehouse at Chukungudu village.
“The troops recovered three vehicles and several newly acquired motorcycles.”
He said that in line with rules of engagement, the IEDs factory, vehicles and motorcycles had been destroyed.
“Unfortunately, a soldier died during the encounter,” he said.