LAGOS - The Nigerian military said on Monday that it killed 18 terrorists, while troops captured more weapons and aborted attacks on the outskirts of Bama and Ngurosoye in northeastern Borno State.
Military spokesperson Chris Olukolade said in a statement reaching Xinhua that the terrorists were killed during military patrol at the weekend in the area.
He said the troops dislodged a band of terrorists who were about to attack some settlements and in the encounter, 16 burnt AK- 47 rifles were also found in the debris.
According to him, the troops also destroyed five pickup vehicles, seven Gulf cars and one Hillux truck.
"A total of 75 villagers were screened and released in the course of cordon and search in the adjoining communities," he added.
The purported bomb attack on a market in the vicinity, as widely reported in the media, is however yet to be verified, he said, adding that a total of 16 AK-47 rifles were also recovered in the course of cordon and search of communities.
He noted that mop-up operations were ongoing on Mandara Mountains and Haraza hills.
He said troops had eventually overrun camps in the outskirts of Gombole, Mele, Kecheri, Dufrfada, Yuwe, and others around Mandara mountains and Sambisa forests, after stiff resistance.
The military spokesperson said many terrorists died in the encounter, while a soldier lost his life and five others were wounded.
The Joint Task Force had also stepped up patrols of the banks of Lake Chad as well as surrounding communities, he added.
He said this was in addition to air surveillance and patrols designed to smoke out the remnants of the terrorists.
According to him, the air raids on some camps sited on islands have also recorded successes in dislodging the terrorists located there.
He said troop's morale and fighting spirit had remained noticeably high while some of the terrorists' camps falling to the forces in the ongoing campaign, had been found deserted.
He said food items earlier seized by terrorists from the villagers were often found stockpiled along with other items such as electronics and power generators.
Olukolade said the troops had swiftly razed terrorists' camps.