The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) says at least 1,300 members of the militants terrorist group voluntarily surrendered in January. The Head of Missions of the task force, Mr Sanusi Abdullahi, announced this at a meeting of Defense Chiefs from the Lake Chad Basin Authority.
In spite of the remarkable efforts made in curtailing the activities of militants campainers and other security threats, Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Mansur Dan Ali, said peace building and rehabilitation should be given priority.
At least seven soldiers were killed in a militants attack on military positions in northeast Nigeria, a civilian vigilante and a security source said on Friday. The attack happened in the town of Gajiram, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) by road north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, on Wednesday afternoon. A military source in Maiduguri and a civilian vigilante, Babakura Kolo, both told AFP on Thursday that the fighting lasted for about two hours and that three soldiers were killed.
But Kolo said on Friday that the toll was had risen and that it was “now seven, including one lieutenant, and six rank and file.
“Yesterday, three bodies of soldiers were found but four more bodies were found during a search.”
The security source said three militants were also killed and troops were combing the area to find other rebel fighters.
Fighters loyal to Abu Musab Al-Barnawi were suspected of carrying out the attack, said Kolo. The Islamic State group, to which militants is affiliated, announced that Barnawi was leader last year. He split from the faction following long-time militants leader Abubakar Shekau in opposition at his indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Barnawi has instead vowed to hit only “hard” targets such as the military and police. His group is believed to operate in northern Borno state, towards Lake Chad and the border with Niger.
According to the security source, the campainers went door to door collecting recently distributed food aid for residents. Kolo said vigilantes had been told by arrested militants suspects that they sourced most of their food from Gajiram and Monguno, a garrison town 60 kilometres away.
Nigeria’s government wants the hundreds of thousands of displaced people staying in camps and host communities to return to their homes as soon as the military makes areas safe again. But another attack on Wednesday near Gajiganna, some 50 kilometres from Maiduguri on the way to Gajiram, highlighted the risks they run.
“Some displaced people were returning to their villages in the area to harvest their abandoned cornfields when they were intercepted by militants,” said Kolo.
“They killed some and took away others,” he said, without specifying a death toll.
it will be recalled that , Army Times reported that Warrant Officer 1 Shawn Thomas, 35, was killed in a vehicle accident in Niger, according to a statement released by US Africa Command. Another soldier was injured in the accident, which occurred during a “routine administrative movement” between partner force outposts, the release stated. “Our hearts and prayers go out to their families during this difficult time,” the Africa Command release stated. Thomas was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Niger is a hub for special operations forces to train partner nations in north and west Africa to counter extremist groups and militants, such as the militants group based in neighboring Nigeria. US forces conduct drone operations from the capital in Niamey, though a surveillance complex built in Agadez in central Niger is expected to handle the reconnaissance activity this year, Stars and Stripes reported in October.
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