Military searching for Leah, others daily – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has said that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-East region conduct rescue missions daily to rescue Leah Sharibu, the remaining Dapchi schoolgirl, and other abducted persons in the Boko Haram captivity.

 The DHQ on Monday noted that its troops were treading with caution in order not to jeopardise the lives of the victims, noting that the Boko Haram and the Islamic State West African Province fighters had their enclaves in the “Tumbums, which are islands between Nigeria, Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon.”

The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, stated this at a press conference on the joint operations coordinated by the armed forces nationwide.

Nwachukwu added that Operations Safe Haven, Hadarin Daji, Thunder Strike, Whirl Stroke and Delta Safe in the North-Central and South-South regions had led to the rescue of 1,048 kidnapped victims and arrests of 48 suspected kidnappers.

The DHQ’s spokesman said, “The Boko Haram terrorists are not holding any territory in the North-East. The Boko Haram and the ISWAP fighters have been pushed into the Tumbums, which are islands between Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, where they have their enclaves and come out to infiltrate the public and carry out attacks on soft targets.

“Terrorists abduct people and attempt to raise funds to support their illicit activities. Unfortunately, we still have the case of Leah (Sharibu) and I want to assure you that the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have been relentless in ensuring that these people are released.

“The troops are on aggressive patrols; rescue missions conducted on a daily basis. But the fact is that the troops have been very cautious because these persons are already in the hands of the terrorists and any careless or reckless move may result in the annihilation of the persons to ward off the troops. So, it is a very complex operation and requires time.”

 The DHQ spokesman noted that with the Yuletide, the armed forces were aware that criminal elements “may take an advantage” but the military was working to make the season safe and secure.
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