Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Four Boko Haram Chieftains Killed, Two Soldiers Injured in Borno Clash

Maiduguri — The Joint Task Force, JTF, in Borno State yesterday said its men had killed 'four sub commanders' of the Boko Haram insurgents while two soldiers sustained injuries during three days of uninterrupted raids carried out in parts of Maiduguri and neighbourhoods.

The JTF said a large cache of arms, Improvised Explosives and ammunitions meant for deadly attacks in the forthcoming Christmas had been recovered from hideouts.

A statement signed by JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said the gun fight between the Task Force and Boko Haram fighters was a follow up to the killing of Abdulkareem Ibrahim, whom the JTFdescribed as a "high profile Boko Haram commander", in a joint operation along Damboa- Biu road on December 2, 2012.

Ibrahim was reportedly among the 19 Boko Haram suspects the JTF placed a bounty of N290 million on their heads.

In the latest operation, the JTF spokesman said, "based on additional information made available to the JTF, sustained follow up operations were successfully conducted at Sabon Gere, Sabon Layin Gwange, Dala Sajeri, Biafra and Suleimanti areas of Maiduguri metropolis between December 3 and 5, 2012

"Consequently, four identified Boko Haram terrorists sub commanders including two experts in the manufacturing of Improvised ExplosiveDevices were killed in a shot out with our troops while two soldiers were wounded," he said.

Sagir said items recovered from the insurgents include: five AK 47 Rifles, a pistol, 11 AK 47 Rifles' empty magazines, 1 G3 Rifle, 176 assorted ammunition, quantity of assorted primed IEDs, gas cylinders, pieces of IEDs remote control switches, assorted IEDs and incendiary materials/ chemicals and 15 small primed IED cans.

"All the recovered items are planned to be used by the terrorists for operation "Black Christmas" - aimed to disrupt peaceful conduct of the impending Christmas celebration in Borno State," Sagir said.

Weekly Trust reports that though the JTF statement was silent on civilian casualties and arrests, it was gathered that over 50 youths have been arrested and taken to various detention cells.

On Thursday, journalists saw military Hilux trucks, fully loaded with youths faced down, lying flat as the vehicles zoomed to unknown destinations.

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