Over 700 Boko Haram militants surrender to government troops following bombardment of hideouts

(ReutersJoe Penney)A wall painted by Boko Haram is pictured in Damasak March 24, 2015.

The Nigerian Army has announced that over 700 members of Boko Haram have surrendered to government troops last week, following a series of bombardments of suspected hideouts of the terror group.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, stated on July 3 that the members of Boko Haram have surrendered to the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Borno, adding that more militants are in the process of surrendering to the government.

"It is a clear indication that the war on insurgency and terror is clearly being won. I want to congratulate not only our gallant troops and indeed the Navy and Airforce but all Nigerians," Buratai said, according to Vanguard.

"The terrorists are surrendering because of the concerted efforts of the Nigerian military. They are in total disarray, they are hungry and are looking for a way out," he added.

Several of the captives claimed that they were forced to fight for Boko Haram after the terrorist group stormed their villages and ordered them to join.

Brigadier General Sani Usman, director of Army Public Relations, said that 70 out of 700 militants who surrendered have agreed to come out of military protection and reveal significant intelligence.

"So far, the surrendered terrorists have been making useful statements, and it is expected that many more of them will surrender," Usman stated, as reported by Church Militant.

"Preliminary investigation has shown that among them were key commanders and influential members of the terrorist group, one of whom matches suspect number 225 on Boko Haram terrorists most wanted list released by the Nigerian Army," he added.

Nigerian officers said at a press briefing that they will not be allowed to have an extensive interview with the 70 militants because it could put them and their families in danger.

One of the 70 militants, speaking on the behalf of others, pleaded with journalists not to publish their names or their photos, as the militants are capable of trailing them or their family members.

On Friday, the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, assured that the government is winning the war against Boko Haram, noting that many of the terror group's cells in the north-east had already been decimated by security forces.

Since 2015, the army, under Operation Laafiya Dole, or Peace by all means, has reclaimed areas held by Boko Haram and has limited the group's ability to carry out its attacks in capital of Borno State and place of its birth, Maiduguri.

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