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We’ve broken the heart and soul of Boko Haram, says army

Rogers Nicholas, a Major-General in the Nigerian Army and Commander of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, the counter-terrorism operation in the North East, says Boko Haram has been defeated, as troops are now in complete control of the Sambisa Forest.

Nicholas said this while inaugurating a the Nigeria-Cameroon Military Joint Mission in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

According to him, troops taking part in Operation Deep Punch, which is aimed at flushing out the remnants of the terrorists, have Sambisa Forest, the stronghold of Boko Haram, in their grip.

“My soldiers are in the heart of Boko Haram enclave that is ‘Camp Zairo’, the gallant troops have taken total control of Sambisa Forest,” Nicholas said.

“We have broken the heart and soul of Shekau’s group, taking over the camp and its environs.They are on the run and we are pursuing them to wherever they go. This time around, there is no place for escape anywhere.

“We had earlier asked those of them that want to surrender to do so and we are still asking them to come out and surrender, otherwise they are going to meet it the hard way.”

On the formation of a joint military mission between Nigeria and Cameroon, Nicholas said it was to enable easy sharing of critical information and intelligence for better results.

“We share information and intelligence to enable us map out strategies to fight Boko Haram insurgents in our common borders,” he said.

The Nigerian army said they had started constructing an access road right in the Sambisa Forest as part of efforts to complete the dislodging of insurgents and make the vast area habitable.

“In its efforts to make Sambisa Forest habitable and also a training ground, the Nigerian Army is following up the ongoing clearance operations with road construction into main heartland of the forest and adjoining communities,” said Sani Usman, Director of Army Public Relations, in a recent statement.

“Already, work has commenced in earnest on Gwoza-Yamteke-Bitta road, as well as the reconstruction of the road from Gwoza-Yamteke-Bitta-Tokumbere, leading into Tokum forest.”

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