The tactics used in rescuing the 344 boys kidnapped from their school in Kankara, Katsina State, on Dec. 11 was revealed by the Nigerian military on Saturday.
The military revealed that it used kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to ensure all the boys were rescued unhurt.
The military added that there was resistance from the abductors who laid ambush against the troops.
Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, and retired Maj.-Gen. 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.”
Jibrin is currently the Special Adviser, Technical, to the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi.
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 neutralised because in the attempt by the military to move forward, they laid ambush in two places along the way.
“In-fact, in the second place where they laid 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 neutralised,’’
while the troops were on the field, negotiations were ongoing at another level of the rescue efforts.
The troop could not completely demobilise the bandits because of possible collateral damage as the abducted boys were used as human shield.
“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.
“All their efforts when they were trying to reach out to the bandits, which they did, were monitored,’’
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