The security Joint Task Force in Borno State (Operation Restore Order) yesterday said that it had successfully truncated plans by the extremist Boko Haram sect to cause another black Christmas in the state.
Last Christmas was celebrated in tears and blood in parts of the country including Maiduguri and Damaturu as the sect unleashed terror on the nation, killing many at churches.
As this year's celebration draws nearer, there are fears fuelled by rumours that the fundamentalist group is planning to make it worse than last year's.
But in a press statement yesterday, the JTF said it has successful truncated the plans of the group to cause another trouble during this year's Christmas.
In the release signed by its spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, the JTF said:
"Following the killing of Abdulkareem Ibrahim- a high profile Boko Haram commander in a joint operations along Damboa- Biu Road on 2 December, 2012 and based on additional information made available to the JTF, sustained follow up operations were successfully conducted by the JTF at Sabon Gere, Sabon Layin, Gwange, Dala Sajeri, Biafra and Suleimanti areas of Maiduguri metropolis between 3 - 5 December, 2012.
"And consequently, four identified Boko Haram Terrorists sub commanders including two experts in the manufacturing of Improvised Explosive Devices were killed in a shoot out with our troops; two soldiers were wounded"
Musa revealed that the following items were recovered during the operations: five AK-47 rifles, a pistol, 11 AK- 47 rifles' empty magazines, a G3 rifle, 176 assorted ammunition and 24 quantity of assorted primed IEDs Gas Cylinders.
Also recovered were 12 pieces of IEDs remote control switches, six assorted IEDs and incendiary materials/chemicals and 15 small primed IED cans.
He said that all the recovered items were planned to be used by the terrorists for operation "Black Christmas" "which is aimed at disrupting the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming Christmas celebration in Borno State".
Musa thanked members of the public "for their co-operation and understanding by giving information that has assisted in the successes so far recorded".