The Nigerian army says it has rescued 85 people, mostly women and children held hostage by insurgents, in Borno north, bordering southern Lake Chad.
However, the troops lost a soldier in the process.
Army spokesman Col. Sani Usman confirmed in a statement that the hostages were rescued when troops of 7 Division conducted a decisive clearance operation into the remnants of Boko Haram strategic town of Chukungudu.
Usman said the operation was led by the General Officer Commanding the Division, Brig-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, between Friday and Saturday.
Areas are Boko Haram strongholds
“The maneuvering Brigade led by 3 Battalion of 22 Brigade, successfully cleared Geram, Bulankassa and Chukungudu believed to be the Boko Haram terrorists strongholds in that area,” Usman said.
He said the troops killed five terrorists in a keen encounter that made several of them run into the Lake Chad waters.
“The troops recovered four rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, and one Double Barrel Gun. Others are 349 packets containing various rounds of ammunition, three magazines, a link belt of machine gun ammunition and one AK-47 rifle magazine,” he said.
Army discovers IED factory
According to Usman, the troops discovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making factory at Geram, during the operation.
“In the factory, they found several already primed suicide bomber’s vests.
“They also discovered a well equipped motor vehicles and motorcycle workshop and spare parts warehouse at Chukungudu village.
“The troops recovered three vehicles and several newly acquired motorcycles.”
He said that in line with rules of engagement, the IEDs factory, vehicles and motorcycles had been destroyed.
“Unfortunately, a soldier died during the encounter,” he said.