The army yesterday announced the arrest of a wanted Boko Haram leader, Sulaiman Umaru deep inside the terror sect’s fortress –Sambisa forest.
Some soldiers came under attack from insurgents inside the forest while refitting.
The acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said Umaru was arrested at about 1.35pm on Friday by troops from the 143 Battalion.
Umaru is one of the 100 Boko Haram terrorists whose photographs are displayed in a poster launched a few months back.
The suspect has been moved to 28 Task Force Brigade Headquarters investigation, the army said.
Usman said troops of 21 Brigade and Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) on Operation Crackdown inside Sambisa forest while on harbour for refitting came under Boko Haram militants attack at about 1.45am yesterday.
The troops however repelled the attack and followed up with mopping up operations of the general area before advancing.
Usman said: “Unfortunately five soldiers were wounded in action (WIA), as a result of mortar fired into the harbour area by the Boko Haram terrorists. The wounded soldiers have been evacuated to the rear for treatment.”
The army also said that N1.9 million was found on an Internally Displaced Person (IDP), Abacha Bulama in Borno State, when troops from 22 Task Force Brigade Garrison, in conjunction with 112 Task Force Battalion, intercepted and screened 31 IDPs, including women and children coming from Sunabaya, Gumule, Garno and Mane-Gana villages.
The army said Bulama’s claim of being a businessman couldn’t remove the suspicion on why he carried about such a huge amount of money.
He is being detained for further investigation, while other IDPs have been handed over to Dikwa IDP Camp Manager for screening and further humanitarian assistance, the army said.
Meanwhile, the army said the troops from 22 Task Force Brigade Garrison ran into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Antul, a village south east of Dikwa.
Seven soldiers were said to have been injured in the incident, while four fighters from the Civilian JTF who accompanied the troops also sustained injuries.
The injured soldiers and their civilian counterparts have been evacuated to 7 Division Hospital and Medical Services, Maiduguri, the army said.
Simultaneously, Cameroon said the multinational joint forces fighting Boko Haram captured five leaders of Boko Haram including Boukar Kaou, traditional ruler of Kumche in Nigeria. Dozens of the terrorists were killed and 60 women and children freed.
Cameroon’s communication minister and government spokesperson Issa Tchiroma said 1,000 troops of the multinational joint task force fighting Boko Haram organized systematic raids between May 10 and 12 on Boko Haram bases in Madawaya forest in Nigeria, some seven kilometers from Cameroon’s northern border, killing 58 Boko Haram fighters.
Tchiroma said 15 Nigerian women, three Cameroonian women and 28 children who had been held captive in the Boko Haram stronghold were freed and taken to Cameroon.
Huge quantities of war weapons were either destroyed or seized.
The traditional leader of Kumshe and emir of the terrorist group, were arrested along side dozens of their supporters.
He said that after a recent successful operation in Goshe and Kumche in Nigeria many Boko Haram fighters escaped to the Madawaya forest and created camps for their fighters, where they also trained suicide bombers especially young women and girls.
Cameroon believes the militants have resorted to suicide bombings because their fire-power has been drastically reduced following ceaseless attacks on their stronghold since December 2015 by an eight thousand-strong multinational joint task force with troops from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Benin and Niger.