Nigerian Troops Kill Boko Haram Commander, 18 Jihadists

Nigerian Soldiers on Patrol AFPIssouf Sanogo
AFP/Issouf Sanogo

Nigerian troops have killed a Boko Haram kingpin and 18 other jihadists in Borno State. The operation also freed 67 hostages.

“Elements of 22 Brigade Garrison carried out clearing operation at Dalore camp on Sunday in which they killed 19 Boko Haram terrorists among whom was Ameer of Dalore,” declared Sani Usman, the acting director of Public Relations at Army Headquarters.

He added: “The troops also captured 2 AK-47 Rifles, 1 Small Machine Gun and 1 Hand Grenade and recovered 4 pickup vehicles. The troops also rescued 67 hostages from the terrorists. The freed hostages are undergoing screening at Internally Displaced Persons in Dikwa.”

Local reports said Dalore “commanded one of the deadliest terror camps in Dikwa.” He became famous “for his vicious killing methods especially the beheading of persons captured.”

Troops killed a Boko Haram suicide bomber two days ago. Usman told the media the attack occurred near the Sambisa forest.

“The troops recovered a motorcycle, 12 primed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and a hand bag containing personal effects which included a hijab obviously meant for disguise and concealment of explosives for the intended nefarious act,” he stated.

The government of Cameroon recently sentenced 89 Boko Haram terrorists to death after a court convicted them on terror charges. The charges stem from “several attacks in Cameroon’s northern region which borders Nigeria.” It is the first time the country has sentenced anyone to death under its anti-terror law, which they passed in 2014.

In February, Cameroon and Nigeria liberated more than 850 Boko Haram hostages in the town of Kumshe. One soldier described the scene as “one of the main logistics bases and an important center of decision and pulse criminal actions plotted and launched by the Boko Haram terrorists towards the Cameroonian territory.” The soldiers also discovered “an extensive weapons arsenal in the town, including terrorist training manuals, explosive belts, landmines, firearms, and other explosives.”

In August, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his military to destroy Boko Haram in three months. Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria since 2009, killing an excess of 20,000 and spreading into Cameroon, Niger, and Chad. The attacks have displaced over 1.5 million people.

On Christmas Eve, Buhari asserted the military met its deadline and had won the war against Boko Haram since the terrorist group allegedly could no longer launch massive attacks.

“I think, technically, we have won the war,” he said. “Boko Haram is an organized fighting force, I assure you, [but] we have dealt with them.”

Terrorist attacks have continued in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon. Four suicide attacks killed at least 29 and wounded 65 in Cameroon in January. Boko Haram never took credit for the attack, but officials placed the blame on the terrorist group. Two bombers attacked the central market while the other two bombers took out “the town’s main entrance and exit points.”

“We have information the four bombers came from Nigeria. We are investigating where they spent the night before attacking the market,” said Governor Midjiyawa Bakari.

In late December, a woman bombed a town in Cameroon’s north region. Other Boko Haram militants encircled three food trucks during the attack, but did not kill anyone.

Boko Haram, an Islamic State affiliate, originated in Nigeria, but expanded to neighboring countries in 2015. Cameroon has joined forces with Nigeria, Chad, and Niger to stop the insurgency.

The terrorist group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State a year ago, but reports have shown little has come to fruition.

“Nothing has changed in the Boko Haram camp since Shekau’s declaration,” explained Nigerian security analyst Abdullahi Bawa Wase, adding:

It has failed to bring in ISIS fighters. It has not attracted ISIS weapons and cash, which many feared would happen. On the contrary, Boko Haram is weaker than it was before the declaration, which is evident from the drastic drop in deadly attacks. Even the rate of suicide bombings has slowed.