Nigeria’s military has uncovered a major Boko Haram bomb-making factory and arrested two leading members of the militant group, military spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman said.
Usman said the operation resulted in the seizure of a vehicle and bomb materials, including gas cylinders and fertilizer.
He described the discovery as “an unprecedented feat," which he says demonstrates the military’s determination to defeat the terrorist group.
“When troops of 25 Task Force Brigade did cordon and search operation along the Sandia, Kokakowa and Nyaleri villages in Borno State, they discovered an improvised explosive device-making factory, along the Maiduguri-Bulabulin-Damboa road,” Usman said.
“Alongside, quite a number of other equipment and other weaponry were recovered from the factory. In addition to that the troops were able to capture two key Boko Haram terrorists including an emir- a local community leader in the militant group,” he added.
Usman said the captures help with the military’s intelligence gathering operations in the effort to combat and defeat Boko Haram.
He said there has been an increase in troop deployment in areas often attacked by Boko Haram militants.
This, he said, forms part of the new strategy to increase pressure on the militants in the effort to end their violent campaigns.
“There is intense pressure on the Boko Haram terrorist group not just by the Nigerian army, but the Nigerian Air force also bombarding them here and there ... we are gradually kind of tightening the noose around them in the Sambisa forest,” Usman said.
“People who are quite familiar with the dangers inherent on the road between Maiduguri and Maiduguri-Bulabulin and Damboa road, because of this cordon and search operation, people tend to be attacked so we trying hard to make sure that the roads are opened and protected,” he added.
Usman also said the military is making progress toward meeting a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to defeat the Islamic militant group within the next three months.
He said the joint multinational force based in neighboring Chad is fully operational and adding the military pressure on Boko Haram militants who often carryout out cross border attacks.
The Islamist extremist group has killed more than 10,000 people since 2009, including 1,000 dead in northeast Nigeria since Buhari was inaugurated in May.