The Nigerian Army has on Wednesday said some ground troops in Borno state had blocked movement of Boko Haram terrorists in and out of Sambisa forest.
This disclosure was made known by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, while fielding questions from journalists shortly after monitoring troops’ deployment at Banki junction in Borno.
According to him, the ongoing “Operation Crack Down’’ had been successful as the troops were making steady progress in dismantling the remaining Boko Haram hideouts in Sambisa.
He said: “The troops are doing very well; they had some challenges in terms of encounters with the terrorists in the theatre but that is being tackled.
“The troops are forming a blocking force to prevent the terrorists from moving into Sambisa or coming out of the area.
“I am here to see the ground forces and how they are doing; so far so good, but there is tremendous operation going on presently inside the main Sambisa forest.’’
Buratai also said that he was at Banki to confirm the movement of troops and equipment and to observe the situation in the “theatre’’.
“We were together with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Air Staff in Maiduguri where the theatre commander briefed us on the ongoing operation crack down.
“This Banki junction is a major route that links the north to the south and is also bordering Cameroon; it is also a link to Chad Republic.
“It is a major route which the Boko Haram insurgents have been using to move between the Sambisa forest and the northern part of the country, up to the Lake Chad waters.
“So, it is an important location which has tactical, strategic as well as operational significance to what we are doing in this region,’’ he said.