The Nigerian Army says troops of Operation Hadin Kai captured the stronghold of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) at Ukuba/Camp Zairo in Sambisa forest.
In December 2016, the army announced the successful take-over of Camp Zairo, the strongest enclave of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest.
The flag of Boko Haram that was recovered from the enclave was handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari by the army.
But Abubakar Shekau, the late Boko Haram leader, had refuted the army’s claim and said the insurgents had not been flushed out.
In a statement on Friday, Bernard Onyeuko, director of defence media operations, said the troops also seized weapons from the insurgents.
Onyeuko said the feat was achieved on Thursday in a special operation codenamed “operation desert sanity”.
He said the insurgents fled the camp, leaving their weapons behind, adding that the operation was a major setback to the insurgents.
“After thorough cordon and search of the captured camp, the gallant troops recovered various equipment including one main battle tank, one 155mm Bofors gun, one trailer, one 122mm gun and two 105mm guns,” Onyeuko said.
“Other equipment captured are one mine-resistance ambush protected (MRAP), fighting vehicle, one MOWAG armoured personnel carrier, one Mack trailer, as well as a large cache of arms and ammunition left behind by the terrorists.”
Onyeuko added that the military high command commended the troops for the success and enjoined them not to rest on their oars “but to use this as a springboard to finally defeat the insurgents and also keep up the fighting spirit”.