Buhari Meets Rescued Students Kidnapped by Bandits
The Nigerian military on Saturday made some disclosures on how it carried out the rescue operation of the 344 boys kidnapped from their school in Kankara, Katsina State, on Dec. 11.
It disclosed that while kinetic and non-kinetic approaches were used to ensure all the boys were rescued unhurt, there was resistance from the abductors who laid an ambush against the troops.
John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, and Ahmed Jibrin, former Director, Military Intelligence, gave the accounts on Saturday when they featured on a special edition of the Nigeria Television Authority programme, “Good Morning Nigeria.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Jibrin is currently the Special Adviser, Technical, to the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi.
Mr. Jibrin said following the abduction of the boys, the minister led a delegation, including the Service Chiefs and National Security Adviser, to Katsina and Kankara.
He said the minister gave the rules of engagement directing the troops to ensure the abducted boys were rescued without casualties and within the shortest time possible.
“Following the directive, the troop closed in on the abductors from four different fronts, including the reinforcement that was made from other divisions to ensure that the entire location was sealed off.
“The bandits were all under siege and they were fully aware of that, feeling the impacts of the presence of the troops both from the air and on the ground.
“When they approached the location where the boys were held, the troops encountered some pockets of opposition which they cleared and moved deeper into the forest.
“Although there was no casualty on the part of the boys, a lot of the bandits were neutralized because, in the attempt by the military to move forward, they laid an ambush in two places along the way.
“In fact, in the second place where they laid an ambush, there was serious resistance because they were hiding and occupied the road.
“They delayed the movement of the troop for some hours before they were neutralized,’’ he said.
Mr. Jibrin said while the troops were on the field, negotiations were ongoing at another level of the rescue efforts.
He said the troop could not completely demobilize the bandits because of possible collateral damage as the abducted boys were used as human shields.
On the claim by the Boko Haram terrorists that they were responsible for the abduction, Mr. Jibrin said the group was only seeking cheap relevance.
“Shekau does not have the reach to carry out the abduction because a lot is being done to stop them in the North-East.
“He is just taking the advantage of what happened to get publicity locally and internationally, it is clear that the abduction was done by bandits