The Nigerian Army has said its troops have rescued 175 people held captive by Boko Haram insurgents,while at the same time killed five members of the sect in an encounter in Borno State.
He said 77 terrorists surrendered to the advancing army.
A statement on Wednesday by the Acting Director of Public Relations of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sani Usman said: “In furtherance of the efforts to keep Bitta-Damboa road open and secure to commuters, troops of 28 Task Force Brigade have cleared Bulajani, Mulgwo and Muotu villages of remnants of Boko Haram elements.
“During an encounter at Moutu specifically, a soldier sustained an injury on the forehead, while 5 Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops, while a few others were suspected to escape with gun shot wounds. The troops recovered 3 locally made guns.
“The advancing troops linked up with their counterparts of 25 Task Force Brigade at Gombori village and rescued 157 persons escaping from Boko Haram terrorists captivity. The rescued persons comprised 47 women, 91 children, 19 men. They are currently undergoing preliminary investigation and thorough screening to also determine their status.
“In a related development 77 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered themselves to troops of 122 Task Force Battalion. They comprised 17 men, 16 women, 16 male children and 28 female children. The surrendered terrorists have been moved to Yamteke by combined team of 26 Task Force Brigade for preliminary investigation and screening.
“Troops have also arrested a deserter soldier, 03NA/53/3098 Corporal Musa Titima of 117 Task Force Battalion, attached to 114 Task Force Battalion, who absconded from duty while on Operation CRACKDOWN at Bitta. The soldier was also allegedly involved in a fracas with Mr Salisu Ngatha at Kabang Ward on 30th May 2016 that led to the death of the civilian. The soldier has been moved to the Brigade headquarters for proper investigation and other disciplinary process,” the statement said.