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Military Reacts to Yobe Students Massacre, Others

Photo: Premium Times

The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, on Thursday reacted to the recent upsurge of killings by the outlawed Boko Haram sect, including the killing of at least 29 students of a federal government secondary school in Yobe State.

In a statement by the DHQ spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, the military said the sect’s actions were “at best a reaction to the renewed offensive against the terror outfit whose operatives had infiltrated the country to support their hitherto depleted membership and counterparts in their daring acts to reinvent relevance by embarking on renewed attacks on soft targets.”

While 29 students, based on official record, were killed in the early hours of Tuesday at the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, in Yobe State, the suspected Boko Haram members also attacked Adamawa Communities on Wednesday night, killing at least 13 people.

Mr. Olukolade, a Major-General, said the attackers in both incidents were probably same and were fleeing from the military’s firepower.

“Unfortunately, however, they have in the course of their flight towards various borders, continued to perpetrate mayhem as noticed in some parts of Adamawa state yesterday night where they attacked communities. In desperation for money and food, they looted and burnt banks, shops and filling stations along their way through Michika as they headed for Cameroon border,” he said.

The spokesperson said six of the attackers had been killed.

“Six of their fighters were killed two captured while nine of their vehicles were destroyed; one soldier and three civilians also died in the encounter,” he said.

Read the military’s full statement below:

MILITARY INTENSIFIES CAMPAIGN TO STOP BOKO HARAM TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING ON THE SECURITY SITUATION IN BORNO, YOBE AND ADAMAWA STATES ON 27 FEBRUARY 2014

The Defence Headquarters acknowledges with grave concern the recent mindless killing of innocent school children and other citizens in towns and villages following terrorist activities in some parts of the north east. The dastardly act has expectedly attracted the reaction of well-meaning individuals who have been condemning the senseless bloodletting. Disturbing as this trend proves, the fact remains that the chilly episodes are simply typical of terrorists intention to intimidate the people into subscribing to their false claim to invincibility.

This distressing situation notwithstanding, it must be pointed out that the current activities of the terrorist groups is actually at best a reaction to the renewed offensive against the terror outfit whose operatives had infiltrated the country to support their hitherto depleted membership and counterparts in their daring acts to reinvent relevance by embarking on renewed attacks on soft targets.

The purpose of this briefing is to intimate you with the elevation of counter terrorism campaign in the country. The new approach marks another phase in the operations designed to further contain the terrorists and their activities. The specialized campaign which has commenced is being undertaken simultaneously in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States. This operation is also in furtherance of efforts at apprehending the terrorists and ensuring they do not escape out of Nigeria as they are now so desperate to do.

Unfortunately, however, they have in the course of their flight towards various borders, continued to perpetrate mayhem as noticed in some parts of Adamawa state yesterday night where they attacked communities. In desperation for money and food, they looted and burnt banks, shops and filling stations along their way through Michika as they headed for Cameroon border. Six of their fighters were killed two captured while nine of their vehicles were destroyed; one soldier and three civilians also died in the encounter.

It is believed that those involved in this latest attacks are the elements that perpetrated the mayhem against students of Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State and other places. They have been holed up and are still engaged in suicidal fighting apparently with a view to attaining martyrdom status, as troops close in on the die-hard ones among them.

Citizens in these states, particularly towards border areas, are requested to assist the security forces by reporting any movement of the group if noticed in their locality as it would further enhance the operations as well as assist in apprehending or eliminating them. All things being equal, the activities of this murderous group will be further degraded towards total elimination shortly.

Meanwhile, citizens are enjoined to show understanding of the situation and continue to cooperate with the security forces especially with vital and timely information on the movements of these terrorists to enable quick response accordingly.

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