Soldiers apprehended 120 members of the Boko Haram group who were ironically making arrangements for the burial of one of their commanders killed in confrontation with the military.
Following the onslaught, the terrorists were said to be fleeing towards Chad and Niger Republics but they are being contained by troops at the borders.
A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade on the development said: “The Special Forces have now secured the environs of New Marte, Hausari, Krenoa, Wulgo and Chikun Ngulalo after destroying all the terrorist camps sited in the vicinity of these localities. The troops are already interacting with locals and citizens assuring them of their safety and freedom from the activities of insurgents.
“Terrorists fleeing towards Chad and Niger Republic are being contained as they have had encounter with Multi-National Joint Task Force in various locations towards the border. Advancing troops also observed a few shallow graves believed to be those of hurriedly buried members of the terrorist groups. In Maiduguri, about 120 terrorists were arrested as they organized burial of one of their commanders who died in an encounter with Special Forces the previous day.
“The arrested insurgents are in custody of the Joint Task Force where they are being interrogated”.
Meanwhile, Defence Headquarters said it has observed the use of photographs purportedly taken in the areas covered by the operations and “wishes to state that the photographs are questionable as they do not reflect any related reality of the social or geographical environment.
Following relative peace witnessed in some parts of Borno and Yobe states, the JTF has relaxed the curfew in order to ease the hardship being faced by the people, especially the poor masses.
A press statement signed by the JTF Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa and issued to newsmen in Maiduguri said: “The 24-hour curfew earlier imposed in Gamboru-Customs Area, Mari Kuwait Area of University of Maiduguri, Bakin Kogi Area, Kasuwan Shanu-Kofar Biyu Area have been relaxed from 6am to 7pm”.
Other areas/wards where the 24hours curfew have been relaxed include Ruwan Zafi-Customs Area, 202 Housing Estate, Bama Road, 303 Housing Estate Bama Road, Dikwa Low-cost Housing Estate.
Also affected are Simari-Zannari-Kwanan Yobe Area, 505 Abba Gana Terab Housing Estate, Muna Garage Road, Chad Basin Muna Garage Road, Baga Road Federal Lowcost Area, Bolori, Jajeri and Umamari Area.
In a related development, the Special Adviser to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam on Press Affairs and Information, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego said: “In view of the relative peace in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital and its environs, the curfew has now been relaxed from 6am to 6pm.”
The statement said, “In view of the need to sustain the relative peace that all parts of the state currently enjoy, His Excellency the Executive Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam has approved an adjustment of the hours during which public movement is restricted around the state”.
Consequently the statement added that, restriction on movement now starts from 6.00PM to 6.00AM daily throughout the state with effect from today Monday 20th May 2013.
The decision for this adjustment according to Bego follows a meeting that His Excellency the governor had with heads of law enforcement agencies in the state.
Gaidam therefore urged the public to continue with the exemplary support and cooperation with security agents to ensure lasting peace, even as he enjoined the public not to relent in prayers for the restoration of peace in the state and the country in general.