The Nigeria Army has confirmed that 112 persons were killed in January’s accidental airstrike at the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in Rann, Borno State.
The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, in Maiduguri, said 97 persons were injured in the attack.
He also revealed that 26 foreigners that had contacts with Boko Haram were apprehended in the last one month by the troops of the Command.
Addressing a press conference in Maiduguri, Irabor said of the foreigners caught were 17 Chadians and nine Nigeriens.
Added to the 26 foreigners arrested during operations, he said, a Malian, simply identified as Ayuba was arrested in Dikwa..
Another major arrest made in Shehuri area of Maiduguri, according to Irabor, is a suspected Boko Haram member who specializes in sneaking suicide bombers into Maiduguri.
Irabor disclosed that seven cattle rustlers were arrested in Monguno, and 34 cows were recovered from them.
Irabor said 3,332 suspected Boko Haram members who were arrested in January during operations against the insurgents were currently being screened to ascertain if they were indeed members of the group.
He equally revealed that five Boko Haram members were willingly surrendered.
Among the five is a 31- year- old Mohammed Abubakar, who has had his limb and arm amputated by the insurgents for trying to desert.
Abubakar in a brief interview with journalists, revealed how his right arm and left limb got amputated.
“I told my friend Hassan Danguduma we have to flee and surrender because our activities are not Islamic. He pretended as if he supported the idea, but leaked the secret to our ameer. So they amputated my left leg and right hand from the wrist. But I managed to escape.”
He added: “I have been in the group for two years, they abducted me from Wulgo Hausari village Gamboru Ngala local government. For fear of being killed, I joined the group. I’m loyal to Mamman Nur-led faction”.
On the Rann misfire, Irabor said after the sad incident of Rann airstrike accident, coordinated emergency response was established for rescue and treatment of victims, surgical centre was equally set up.
He equally revealed that a board of inquiry was established by the Theatre Command to investigate the incident which proved it was a mistake and that 112 persons died and 97 others were wounded in the incident.
Irabor said the chairman of Kala Balge local government who told the press that 236 persons killed in the attack were buried by his people had come out to recant.
He said the chairman in an apology which he has on tape had come to apologize that he was pushed by extraneous forces to give a bogus figure
On other successes recorded in the last one month, Irabor said troops conducted several operation and recovered several arms, ammunition in Sambisa Forest.
He said five insurgents were killed around Sambisa Forest, in Dikwa nine militants were also killed.
He said, “In Monguno troops trailed and had an ecounter with insurgents, one militant killed. Troops conducted operations along Maiduguri-Dikwa road, killed two insurgents. In Gulumba-Gana road, with support of Cameroonian troops four terrorists were killed.”