from AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI – THE Nigerian Army has arrested 240 women and children said to be family members of some Boko Haram sect that have fled operations by the troops.
The 67 women and 173 children were intercepted during an offensive that saw the killing of an unspecified number of Boko Haram suspects, the capture of 167 others and the defection of 15 suspected insurgents.
This follows weekend offensives on Boko Haram hideouts in the islands around the Lake Chad region.
Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole (Peace by Force) started the crackdown a fortnight ago.
The army has profiled the suspected family members of the insurgents.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director Public Relations of the Operation Lafiya Dole, said arrangements were ongoing to hand them over to authorities at internally displaced camps after preliminary investigations are concluded.
He said the Nigerian troops in addition intercepted and arrested 53 fleeing insurgents in hideouts in Saada and Juwei in the fringes of northern Borno State.
Borno is the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
“The suspects have been profiled and are currently helping with investigations,” Nwachukwu said.
While troops continue the offensive to rid the northeast of insurgents, members of the public have been urged to be more security conscious, especially ahead of Christmas and New Year festivities.
– APA / CAJ News