The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday adduced reasons why the military was yet to rescue the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) lecturers, oil workers and women abducted by Boko Haram terrorists, saying the sect was using the captives as a shield.
It noted that the troops could apply full force to free owing to the collateral damage that could follow such decision.
Ten women, including female police personnel, were kidnapped on June 21 this year along Damboa Road in Borno State.
They were seized after their assailants ambushed a convoy of security personnel who was heading for a burial in Adamawa State.
On the other hand, the varsity teachers, who were part of an oil exploration team in the state, were captured on July 25 this year.
But, the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj.- Gen. John Enenche, assured the residents that all the kidnapped persons would soon be freed like some of the Chibok school girls.
He noted that the military was applying lot of caution in the rescue operations as not to endanger the lives of the captives.The defence spokesman rejected calls from certain quarters asking for the wholesale bombing of the territories occupied by the terrorists.
He said: “So, that is why a lot of caution is being exercised even if you have a footage or real time evidence that these people are there. Once they are being used as human shield, then you need to be very careful on the rescue mission.
“I assure you that actions are on, intelligence is still being processed and strategies are being considered on how to ensure that the lovely citizens come out alive just like some of the Chibok girls.”
The two lecturers in the Geology Department of the university were identified as Yusuf Ibrahim and Dr. Solomon N. Yusuf. The third man identified self as Haruna.
However, troops of the Nigerian Army Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) of Operation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast have killed two terrorists in an ambush while on patrol of Mayanti village.
During the two-hour exchange of fire, other members of the sect sustained gunshot wounds before fleeing through the Sambisa Forest and abandoning food items in the process.
The Deputy Director Army Public Relations of 7 Division, Lt-Col. Kingsley Samuel, made the disclosure to newsmen in Maiduguri.