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Sambisa Raid: Shekau’s Qur’an Recovered, 1,240 Suspects Arrested – Army




Gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE dismantling the official Boko Haram flag at Parisu, Camp Zairo, Sambisa Forest, Borno State after capturing Boko Haram’s headquarters on Monday. Photo Credit: Defence Headquarters

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said it had recovered Abubakar Shekau’s Qur’an and flag in Camp Zero, the Boko Haram Headquarters in Sambisa forest.

Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, said this while giving newsmen update on “Operation Rescue Final’’ in Maiduguri.

“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. We have also made a lot of arrests. Our troops in Damboa arrested about 15 Boko Haram members. We also arrested one Musa from Potiskum on Christmas Day. On December 26 our troops also intercepted two Boko Haram suspects in Maiduguri.

We, therefore, warn residents of the state to be wary of people coming to hide in and around their houses. 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,’’ Irabor said.


Irabor said that 1,240 suspects were arrested during the mop-up operations in Sambisa forest. He said that 413 of the suspects were adults; 323 were female adults; 251 male children, while 253 were female children.

“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. 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 males 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,” the commander said.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Our gallant troops

    December 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Great news. Well done guys.

  2. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    December 29, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Wish I could say congrats but honestly there is just something fishy about this whole military campaign. I want to ask how large is Sambisa and how dense is a forest in a sahel like Borno that the millitary were unable to subdue it till now. even if that Army couldn’t what happened to the Airforce. I would understand if it was in the delta region because of the thick vegetation but a sparse area of land took this long? And how many times would we keep hearing that Shekau was killed only for him to resurface? One day the entire mystery shrouding this whole boko haram saga would be revealed and the real perpetrators unveiled. I wish I could say sweet victory but this has a bitter sweet feeling

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