The military on Friday [Feb. 27] made further gains in its offensive against the terrorist Boko Haram sect by routing them from Bara, the headquarters of Gulani Local Government Area of Yobe State and Gulak, the headquarters of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, THISDAY reported.
This is coming on the heels of reports that the military is fast closing in on the dreaded leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, whose double had been reported killed twice since the declaration of the States of Emergency in 2013.
On the same day, President Goodluck Jonathan expressed confidence that Nigerian troops would sustain the momentum built up in the ongoing full scale operations against the terrorists Boko Haram sect. Aside from Gulak and Bara liberated by the military, other locations also cleared in the course of the two-day operation against the terrorists in the North-east included Shikah, Fikayel, Tetebah, Buza, Kamla and Bumsa.
According to a statement from the military authorities, fierce fighting that preceded the clearing of the towns and other communities resulted in appreciable casualties on the side of the terrorists.
The military said it captured some of the terrorists and recovered thousands of assorted rounds of ammunition as well as vehicles and other equipment including; Anti-Aircraft Guns, General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), Grenades, Multi-barrel bombs, Multi-barrel Grenade Launchers, rifles and mortar guns.
Intelligence sources disclosed to THISDAY that Shekau had been cornered but could not yet be taken out because of the use of captured girls, women and children as shield by him.
A top intelligence source, who doesn't want to give more details because of the sensitive nature of the operation, noted that "Shekau's operational areas had been depleted and the military are ever closer to locating him". "The military knows where he is but the truth is that he is using some of the captives as shield," the source said.