Nigerian troops at early hours of Sunday ambushed suspected Boko Haram terrorists escaping from Sambisa forest to Fulawani village during which five members of the insurgent group were killed, Colonel Sani Usman, acting Director, Army Public Relations said in a statement.
The fleeing terrorists, ambushed by troops of 81 Battalion and some elements of 251 Task Force Battalion, 25 Brigade, according to him, were trying to link up with other terrorists or members of their families to relocate to other places.
Colonel Usman recalled that the troops had yesterday intercepted a group of women and children who claimed to have escaped from the terrorists enclave in Sambisa forest.
But he said during screening and interrogation, it was confirmed that they were the terroristsâ€™ advance party relocating to a new safe haven following intense tactical operations by troops.
â€œThe troops sprang a surprise ambush on the group of escaping terrorists from Sambisa forest crossing towards Alagarno mounted on motorcycles and bicycles, killing 5 of them and recovering a number items.
â€œThese include five motorcycles, nine bicycles, 80 new pairs of bathroom slippers, assorted laundry items, polythene bags and mats. From all indication, the terrorists intended to link up with their wives and children earlier mentioned, who were obviously despatched to wait for them close to Fulawani for onward movement to other locations.
It is also assessed that the recovered items were for sale in other locations where remnants of the terrorists were hiding but in dire need of logistics.
â€œFurther investigation also revealed that the terrorists were fleeing Sambisa forest to other areas for safety as they could no longer withstand the continued bombardment by both Nigerian Air Force and the ground troops,â€ said Usman.