One Soldier, Three Vigilantes Die In Sambisa Forest
Nigerian troops searching for terrorists in Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold were forced to retreat after a landmine blast killed one soldier and three vigilantes, security sources has revealed.
A top military source told reporters on Wednessday that the soldiers were conducting offensives “in some forest locations” in the area after it was announced last week that operations were imminent.
The Sambisa Forest is located in Borno state, some 80 kilometres from Chibok town, Chibok being the town where over 200 young school girls were kidnapped last year.
Security sources had suggested that the girls have been since split up and moved to different African countries.
The Nigerian defence spokesman, Chris
Olukolade in a statement recently revealed that a top Boko Haram leader was shot down after they tried to attack an army patrol.
“The operations especially in forest locations are progressing in defiance of obstacles and landmines emplaced by the terrorists,” he added.
But the Army’s progression into the forest stronghold has been severly altered due to the terrorist’s use of improvised explosive devices.
“Boko Haram have buried landmines all over the routes leading to their camps in the forest, which is no doubt a huge obstacle retarding the military offensive against them,” he told AFP.
The army were forced to push back just
five kilometres from Boko Haram’s main camp in the densely forested area because of landmines.
“We decided to turn back since the route was unsafe. As we were driving back, one of the vehicles carrying CJTF (Civilian Joint Task Force) hit a mine,” he added.
“A soldier and three CJTF were killed while another soldier was injured. We trudged along and made it back to Bama on Wednesday.”
The vigilante added: “There are no soldiers in Sambisa right now. We all returned to Bama after the horrifying experience of manoeuvring through minefields.”
There was no immediate response from the military, which with its military coalition partners Chad, Niger and Cameroon has driven out Boko Haram from captured towns in recent weeks.
“Boko Haram are in large numbers in Sambisa,” said the vigilante, who requested anonymity for security reasons.
“All their fighters who were pushed out of Bama, Dikwa, Gwoza and Damboa (in Borno state) all moved to Boko Haram camps in Sambisa,” he added.
Meanwhile Kalabalge residents who fled to Fotokol, have said that Boko Haram had taken over their town, which is close to the Chadian border.
One resident revealed that Chadian troops conducted an operation in the Kalabalge area on Monday as Boko Haram had returned after being driven out.
He also said “some foreign fighters from north Africa” were detained.