Security Forces Recover Large Cache Of Arms, Ammunition Hidden By Insurgents In Burnt Church

Boko Haram-ARMSThe Nigerian Defense Headquarters on Friday said that security forces had found and seized weapons belonging to terrorists, which they stashed away in a burnt church.

The military authorities said the discovery was made possible by the arrest of a terrorist, who claims to be a Cameroonian and an arms courier for the unidentified terrorist group, when he led troops to the premises of a burnt church in Kalabalge local government area of Borno State where a large cache of arms and ammunition were hidden.

A statement released in Abuja by the Director of Defence Information at the DHQ, Major General Chris Olukolade, said that the recovered weapons include anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled guns as well as other brands of machine guns. The weapons were reportedly found buried in the premises of one of the churches earlier burnt by terrorists. Also recovered from the location were thousands of various rounds of ammunition and links.

The Defence spokesperson claimed that the middle-aged man, who led troops on the cordon and search operation that yielded the weapons, was one of the terrorists captured in a recent raid.

According to him, the detained terrorist also revealed under interrogation that the weapons were stock-piled for use in a pending attack on some communities along the Nigeria-Cameroon border. The weapons have all been evacuated while security patrols have intensified at the location and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, General Olukolade said that troops have continued to carry out various operations as part of a wider counter-terrorist campaign.

The military statement added, “The caves of a particular mountain captured overnight [are] undergoing a thorough search for terrorists who are believed to have fled there in the wake of the ongoing offensive on various terrorist enclaves. Arms are also the object of the cordon and search.

“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minima has been checking on deployment and troops disposition in various locations of the theater of the counter-terrorist campaign in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.

“The army chief, who is in company of his Air force counterpart, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, also visited troops who were wounded in the course of the operation so far, in the Military Hospital in Maiduguri. The Chiefs were assured by the commander of the hospital, Brigadier General Okeke, that most of the wounded soldiers were in stable condition [and] that some who have recovered very well expressed their desire to rejoin their units and colleagues in the operation.  The army chief however directed that the hospital should not hesitate to let him know the requirement for any case requiring referral or further treatment anywhere.

“The service chiefs are also undertaking a comprehensive air surveillance of the entire mission area in addition to the direct inspection of some key locations where operations are being conducted”.

In separate interviews with reporters in Maiduguri, the statement said the service chiefs expressed satisfaction with the state and performance of the deployment so far, noting that substantial expectations of the counter-terrorist campaign were being achieved.