The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has said that the days of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, are numbered, calling on his remaining members to surrender to the troops.
This is just as no fewer than 15 Boko Haram insurgents were killed by troops on Friday in a battle at Rann in Borno State.
Sources said five soldiers were also critically injured.
The Director, Defence Information, Brig.Gen. Rabe Abubakar, in an interview with our correspondent, said arrested Boko Haram members were already supplying the military with vital information.
Abubakar added that Boko Haram members should not allow Shekau to deceive them any longer, as his days were numbered.
He said, “The Boko Haram insurgents are applying medicine after death. After all, we are aware that such video was done before we took over Sambisa Forest. Therefore, the release of the video is not surprising to us.
“The insurgents are defeated and those arrested are giving us the vital information that will aid our mop-up operations in the area.
“We are going to convert the forest to a training camp soon. Shekau is a coward and we will trail him to anywhere he is hiding. He is definitely not in the Sambisa Forest of Borno State. We are calling on the remnants of the Boko Haram sect to surrender for their safety before it is late. They should not allow Shekau to deceive them as his days are numbered. The public should disregard all the antics of the terrorists.”
In the battle at Rann, which reportedly started as a gun fight between troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole and the insurgents at about 6am, it was learnt that no fewer than 15 of the Boko Haram members were killed.
A military source said troops also recovered weapons from the dead insurgents.
He said, “The gun battle lasted for about three hours. The terrorists actually planned to launch a surprise attack on the soldiers. Fortunately, the insurgents were the more hit.
“Troops from the 3 and 112 task force battalions in Rann were the soldiers who repelled the attack. Weapons ranging from AK 47 rifles, magazines, FN rifles to Improvised Explosive Devices were recovered from the insurgents.”