Troops fighting insurgency in northeast Nigeria have arrested not fewer than 7, 898 suspected Boko Haram terrorists and killed at least 48 others in various operations last February, the Nigerian military authorities has said.
The details emerged on Wednesday at a press conference addressed by the Theatre Commander for the on-going counterinsurgency operation, tagged Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen Lucky Irabor.
Irabor used the occasion to chronicle the activities of the Nigerian troops in various areas where the country still faces challenges from the outlawed Boko Haram group.
“The total number of arrests made during the period under review was 7,898, which include women and some foreigners,” he said.
Mr. Irabor said the military lost about 22 soldiers including an officer during the month, while about 27 others were injured in various attacks mostly through explosion of improvised Explosives Devices by Boko Haram.
He said the military was in search of three soldiers who are missing in action.
Mr. Irabor said most of the Boko Haram suspects were arrested around the axis of Damboa, Kaga and parts of Yobe state, which surround the city of Maiduguri.
He also revealed that 301 motorcycles suspected to have been gathered by Boko Haram in preparation for attacks were intercepted and destroyed through burning by the troops.
The General said all those arrested by the troops as Boko Haram suspects would be properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for prosecution if found wanting.
He also revealed that a large cache of arms were recovered from the Boko Haram insurgents during the various raids and ambush operations by the troops.
He further added that the military will sustain its operation in Sambisa forest for a long time to come in order to prevent the reoccupation of the area by the insurgents or any criminal group.