Army ‘recovers’ Shekau’s Quran, flag from Sambisa, arrests 1,240 suspects

Ebun Francis

The Nigerian military says it has recovered the Quran and Flag of the fleeing Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau in Camp Zero, the Boko Haram headquarters in Sambisa forest captured by the Army last Saturday.

The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. -Gen. Lucky Irabor, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Operation Rescue Final at the Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.

According to Irabor, “We believe that the Holy Book and the flag were abandoned by Abubakar Shekau while he escaped.”

“The book will be taken to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, for onward presentation to Mr President.

Irabor also said  the army had arrested about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest, 413 of the suspects were adults; 323 were female adults; 251 male children, while 253 were female children.

He said, “We are interrogating them to know whether they are Boko Haram members, because there is no way somebody that is not their member would live inside Sambisa forest.

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“We are still on the trail of the terrorists and I want to assure you that all escape routes have been blocked.

“Within this period, also, about 30 fleeing suspected Boko Haram members have surrendered to the Niger Multinational Troops on the shores of the lake Chad and we learnt that they were taken to Difa in the Niger Republic.

“The suspects include; 24 male and six females.

“We would like to use this opportunity to encourage the terrorists to give up the fight because the window is still open.”

“We are also warning residents to report any suspected Boko Haram members hiding in their houses to the relevant security agencies and any failure to do that would tantamount to supporting and sympathising with the sect’s activities.”