The Defence Headquarters has confirmed the killing of four notorious terrorist commanders in air strikes within the week.
They are Machika, Haro, Dan Muhammadu and Ali Alhaji Alheri, popularly called Kachalla Ali Kawaje.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Buba said that Machika was a top terrorist bomb expert and the younger brother of a notorious terrorist (Dogo Gide) while Haro and Dan Muhammadu were specialists in kidnapping and assault operations respectively.
He noted that a synchronised strike between air and ground forces aimed at the same target on December 11, killed Kachalla Kawaje, a renowned terrorist leader responsible for the abduction of the students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara.
He added that Kachalla was neutralised in the Munya Local Government Area of Niger along with many of his foot soldiers.
According to him, the military is fast closing in on others, and they will equally suffer the same fate.
Buba said that air assets conducted aggressive air flights on confirmed locations active with the movement of terrorist commanders and their foot soldiers.
He added that the strikes carried out resulted in the killing of over 38 terrorist commanders and their foot soldiers, while 159 others were arrested.
“The armed force is hunting down prominent terrorist leaders and engaging them wherever they are hiding.
“The military will continue to take the fight to the terrorists and their cohorts until they are destroyed or surrendered,” he said.
In the South East, Buba said the troops, in conjunction with other security agencies, on Wednesday apprehended a prominent commander of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and its armed affiliate the Eastern Security Network.
He said the commander, Uchechukwu Akpa, was arrested together with three other sub-commanders, namely Udoka Anthony Ude, Ikechukwu Ulanta, and Ezennaya Udeigewere.
According to him, the trio were arrested after a raid on their hideout at Christ the King Catholic Church, Ameta Mgbowo, in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“They gathered to plot to take over the leadership of IPOB/ESN Auto Pilot Command, Enugu State Chapter, from the apprehended former commander, known as “Chocho.” They also planned to attack troop locations.
“During the raid, Mr Akpa sustained a gunshot wound while trying to escape.
He was the second in command of Chocho, a notorious IPOB/ESN leader currently in custody.
“Subsequently, another raid connected with the arrest was conducted on December 14, where troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, two AK 47 magazines, 25 rounds of 7.62mm NATO special ammunition, and one pump action rifle.
“The operations of the week in focus equally resulted in the arrest of 66 perpetrators of oil theft and the rescued of 89 kidnapped hostages,” he said.
Buba said the troops in the Niger Delta area destroyed 15 dugout pits, 25 boats, 74 storage tanks, 14 vehicles, 115 cooking ovens, 13 reservoirs, 10 cooling systems, 10 receivers, three pumping machines, and 64 illegal refining sites during the week.
He added that troops recovered 357,350 litres of stolen crude oil, 185,300 litres of illegally refined AGO, and 20,600 litres of PMS.