ABUJA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — At least 29 extremist militants were killed and 55 others arrested in anti-terror operations in Nigeria’s northeast region in the past two weeks, a spokesman for the military said on Thursday.
Bernard Onyeuko, the national spokesman for the military, told a news briefing in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, that 52 kidnapped victims were also rescued in the region within the period. Onyeuko said during the same period, a total of 1,755 Boko Haram militants and their families surrendered to the government troops, who have continued to dominate the theater of operations across villages, mountains, towns, and cities in the northeastern part of the country. All the surrendered militants and their families were profiled and handed over to the relevant authority, according to the spokesman.
Onyeuko noted a key commander of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) identified as Alhaji Modu, also known as Bem Bem, as well as his fighters, were killed in an airstrike by the military in the village of Degbawa, near the Mandara Mountains in the Gwoza local government area of the northern state of Borno on Aug. 3. “Information gathered from the locals had revealed that 20 terrorists were confirmed dead in the airstrike at the location, where the terrorists converged for a meeting before the strike,” he said.
That operation was followed by the arrest of three logistics suppliers of Boko Haram and ISWAP in Buni Yadi, a town in Yobe, another northeastern state, Saturday, Onyeuko said. The ISWAP has been collaborating with its sister group Boko Haram to establish an Islamist state in northeast Nigeria. The terror groups have also extended their attacks to other countries in the Lake Chad Basin.