NIGERIA Army said it had rescued about 7,898 civilians from Sambisa Forest, a stronghold of the Boko Haram sect in Borno State, even as it faulted the Amnesty International report which alleged mass abuse in the handling of the ongoing antiterrorism war in the North-East. Theatre commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor disclosed this during a press conference in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday, saying that eight foreigners, including four Chadians, three Nigeriens and one Cameroonian were recently arrested. The briefing monitored in Abuja by Nigerian Pilot quoted General Irabor as saying that troops had continued to record remarkable progress in the fight against insurgency. “On 7 February, troops killed 13 Boko Haram insurgents at Sabarmari, Siraja Anzayi, at Chongodo village, while arms and ammunition, vehicle and anti aircraft guns were recovered as well as five women and children whom we suspected to be family members of Boko Haram,” he said. “Nineteen Boko Haram terrorists were also killed at Butali Kura in Bulabulin axis and arms, ammunition were also recovered. List of terrorist names were also found one of the terrorist and four copies of the Holy Quran. During the operation, 59 women and children were rescued and are currently being profiled here at the theatre command. “On the 22nd of February, troops along Damasak and Malamfatori also cleared 13 Boko Haram in an ambush operation.” General Irabor stated further that, “I am constrained to touch on the recently released Amnesty International Report for the year 2016. The reason being that the report made some unfortunate claims regarding the operations in the North-East, whereas the contents of the report have been condemned, I wish to join (in the condemnation) by saying that the troops of Operations Lafiya Dole are professional in conduct and disposition. They operate within the strict guidance of the rules of engagement and the code of conduct for troops.” Irabor noted that Amnesty International had been consistent in its attack on Nigerian military in recent time. “What needs to be clear is that we have observed a consistent attack on the institutions charged with the mandate to protect the nation against every form of insecurity. During the trying days of this operation, Amnesty International and other agents working against our nationhood, tried fruitlessly to incite the populace against the military through various malicious publications. “In spite of their distractions, we forged ahead and decimated Boko Haram. We worked assiduously to improve on our civil-military relations, the result of which is manifest in the unparalleled support, accolades and encouragement we have received from the populace. This position seems to have disappointed Amnesty International and their ungodly allies”. Irabor expressed sadness that Amnesty was making use of some unpatriotic Nigerians to achieve its aim. “Regrettably some Nigerians are being used as puppets and agents of destruction of our national security institutions. It is sad that when our national security institutions are gaining traction, these agents after fabricating their reports, sit back and push Nigerians to make the reports known to the public to give a national colour of some sort. “We must rise up and stand against this subtle and increasing level of neo-colonialism; we all have a role to play in this direction. Our national institutions must be strengthened, it is our responsibility to do so, no one can love Nigeria better than Nigerians, I only ask you the press to shine your eyes,” he said.
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