Nigerian Military confirms death of wanted terrorist leader, Kachala, bomb expert and 38 other top commanders

The Defence Headquarters has confirmed the death of the wanted terrorist leader Ali Kachala Kawaje, a terrorist bomb expert Machika, Dan Muhammad and 38 other terrorist commanders in Niger State airstrikes.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, who disclosed this in a statement on Friday, December 15, 2023, said the armed forces was closing in on other wanted terrorists.

“During the week in focus, air assets conducted aggressive air flights on confirmed locations active with the movement of terrorist commanders and their foot soldiers. Strikes carried out resulted in over 38 terrorist commanders and their foot soldiers, while 159 of them were arrested,” the statement reads. 

"Recently, the military conducted two major air strikes on the terrorist enclave. One of the strikes, on Dec 6, neutralized several top terrorist commanders. Namely, one Machika, a top terrorist bomb expert and younger brother of a notorious terrorist (Dogo Gide).

"Other prominent terrorist leaders neutralised include Haro and Dan Muhammadu, both of whom are specialists in kidnapping and assault operations, respectively.

"A renowned terrorist leader responsible for the abduction of the students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, Ali Alhaji Alheri, popularly called Kachalla Ali Kawaje, was neutralised in Munya LGA of Niger state along with many of his foot soldiers. The military is fast closing in on others, and they will equally suffer the same fate.

"The armed forces is hunting down prominent terrorist leadership and  engaging them wherever they are hiding.”

Buba also said troops arrested a prominent commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra and its armed affiliate, the Eastern Security Network, Uchechukwu Akpa.

He said the commander was arrested together with three other sub-commanders,  namely Udoka Anthony Ude, Ikechukwu Ulanta, and Ezennaya Udeigewere.

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 a 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 Uchechukwu Akpa sustained a gunshot wound while trying to escape. It could be recalled that Mr Uchechukwu Akpa was the Second in Command to Chocho, a notorious IPOB/ESN leader currently in custody.”

Buba said troops arrested  66 suspected oil thieves and rescued 89 kidnapped hostages.

Troops also recovered 67 assorted weapons, 1,194 assorted ammunition and confiscated stolen products worth N161,232,500.00.

In a breakdown, he said troops recovered  20 AK47 rifles, four pump action guns, five locally fabricated rifles, two locally fabricated double barrel guns, one Barreta pistol, four locally made pistols, 13 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 1,152 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 13 rounds of 9mm ammo, one round of 5.56mm ammo, 15 live cartridges.

Others include; one magazine loaded with eight rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, one LMG magazine, one CZ pistol magazine, seven empty magazines, one locally made pistol magazine, one damaged magazine, one Dane gun butt, five vehicles, 14 mobile phones, 32 motorcycles, one laptop and the sum of N1,123,800.00 amongst other items.

Meanwhile, in the Niger Delta, troops destroyed 64 illegal refining sites, 15 dugout pits, 25 boats, 74 storage tanks, 14 vehicles, 115 cooking ovens, 13 reservoirs, 10 cooling systems, 10 receivers, and three pumping machines.

Troops recovered 357,350 litres of stolen crude oil, 185,300 litres of illegally refined AGO and 20,600 litres of PMS.

Other items recovered are one AK 47 Rifle, Two AK 47 magazines, and 25 rounds of 7.62mm NATO special ammunition.

"The armed forces are winning the war and have the upper hand. Ongoing operations would only be completed once the terrorists surrender or are totally defeated,” he said. 

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