MNJTF kills 27 terrorists, Buhari insists insurgency not religious

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TROOPS of the Multinational Joint Task Force has said it neutralised 27 Islamic State in West Africa Province terrorists in collaboration with Air Task Force.

It also said six traumatised females held hostage by the terrorists were rescued during a clearance operation.

The Chief of Military Public Information Headquarters, MNJTF, Colonel Muhammad Dole, in a statement on Wednesday, said one soldier died during the operation.

The statement read, “The ATF identified intelligence-driven targets which they engaged using multiple sorties in the vicinity of Tumbun Fulani and Tumbun Rago, where about 20 terrorists were neutralised.

“The criminals, on sighting the advancing troops, fled and abandoned their checkpoint, pulled off their uniforms and left their rifles and other equipment behind.

“Tunbun Rago was found deserted with Boko Haram corpses and a shallow grave containing Boko Haram corpses discovered, as the criminals beat a hasty retreat.

“Ground forces then advanced and reached Tunbun Fulani but could not access Tunbun Rago due to marshy terrain.”

In another encounter with Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents in the course of further clearance operations by MNJTF troops of Sector 1 (Cameroon) in the vicinity of Toumbuma, Kerenua, and Chikingudu, two Boko Haram suspects were reportedly neutralised.

The statement added, “At the end of the earlier battle engagement around Tunbun Fulani and Tunbun Rago, six traumatised female BHTs hostages managed to escape and were found by own troops who then assisted them and brought them to own troop’s location.

“They were professionally handled and given medical care in the bush.

“The rescued women have been moved to Maiduguri for further processing and handover to the civil authorities before they rejoin their families

“Sadly, one soldier paid the supreme sacrifice and few others were wounded in action, currently receiving treatment at a military hospital.”

Meanwhile, The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Wednesday in Abuja, said the Boko Haram insurgency has neither religious nor ethnic underpinning, and with adequate education, majority of Nigerians now know the truth.

The president spoke when he received the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karin Khan, at State House, Abuja, saying that with concerted public enlightenment, it had become clear to the people that Boko Haram was a perversion of religion, rather than Islamic ideology.

According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Buhari said, “To say Western education is unacceptable (Haram) is very fraudulent. That is why we are fighting them, and educating the people. Education is fundamental. Religion and ethnicity are out of it. Some people have just made it a lifestyle to cause confusion, destruction and death.”

The statement is titled ‘With adequate education, people now know that Boko Haram is neither about religion nor ethnicity, President Buhari tells ICC prosecutor’.

“God is justice. You can’t kill innocent people, and shout; Allah Akbar (God is great). It’s either you don’t know that God at all, or you are simply being stupid.

“To say Western education is unacceptable (Haram) is very fraudulent. That is why we are fighting them, and educating the people. And we are succeeding a lot. We came to office when things were very bad, but we are educating the people.

“Education is fundamental. Religion and ethnicity are out of it. Some people have just made it a lifestyle to cause confusion, destruction and death.”

In his remarks, the ICC Prosecutor described extremism as cancer which spreads and can also recede, noting that what Boko Haram does in collaboration with Islamic State of West African Province “is perversion of religion.”

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