A senior commander of the Islamic State West Africa Province, Bukar Gana Fitchmeram (aka Abu Aisha), and scores of his fighters, who were on revenge mission at Damasak, fell to the firepower of troops Thursday.
The Nigerian Army said the terrorists and his fighters met their waterloo as they made a comeback following the killing of 12 high-value ISWAP commanders in Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State in a week-long air and ground operations by troops.
The army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, revealed that “the terrorists who were denied any sanctuary or respite desperately conducted two separate failed attacks on Gajiram and Damasak.”
The terrorists were earlier reported to have killed some troops and destroyed the United Nations humanitarian hubs during the attack on Damasak but Yerima in a statement on Friday said top ISWAP leaders were killed by airstrikes during the attack.
The statement was titled, ‘How ISWAP seniors commanders on revenge mission met their waterloo at Damasak.’
It stated, “The deadly air strikes conducted on Tudun Wulgo, Zari and Tumbun Alhaji, Kusuma, Sigir in Ngala and Arijallamari, in Abadam, Marte and Ngala Local government Areas, led to the killing of top ISWAP Leaders.
“The commanders that perished in the airstrikes include Mohammad Fulloja, Ameer Mallam Bello, Ba’a kaka Tunkushe, Abu Muktar Al -Ansari, Ameer Abba Kaka, Abu Huzaifa, Ameer Modu Kwayem, while Goni Mustapha who was the Chief Imam of the ISWAP escaped with bullet wounds.”
The army further said the artillery bombardment and air strikes on April 6 also resulted in the elimination of two top ISWAP leaders including Abu-Rabi and Muhammed Likita as well as scores of their troops and bodyguards around the axis of Kusuma, Sigir in Ngala and Arijallamari in Abadam Local Government Areas.
The terrorists’ storage facilities that housed weapons used to conduct several attacks was also targeted and destroyed in the air raid by the Air component of Operation Lafiya Dole.
On the night of Saturday, April 10, Yerima explained that three other terrorist commanders- Ameer Umar, Abu Ubaida and Abu Salim, were ambushed and killed by troops around Wulgo / Logomani axis close to Cameroon borders while attempting to attack locals and rustle their cows.
According to him, the devastating airstrikes and artillery bombardment on the ISWAP camps had pushed the surviving fighters to conduct desperate attacks and looting missions for food and drugs for their wounded colleagues.
The army further said, “Also on April 11, the Nigerian military bombardments eliminated scores of ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorists in five guntrucks in Damasak.
“Some of the terrorists were hits close to the perimeter fencing, while others were neutralized while attempting to loot food items in a store belonging to the United Nations as well as drugs and ambulance. However, three soldiers and some civilians lost their lives while properties were burnt in the town.
“Some of the terrorists still got access to the town, burning and looting items before vacating the area. It is also noteworthy that Damasak has been attacked several times and failed.
“Troops’ fighting spirit remains very high in spite of the nefarious activities of some local informants who often tip the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists on troops’ movements and positions.”