But for the revelation of a suspected Boko Haram member, Nigerian soldiers would have run into mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) laid on their pathway used by the insurgents in Borno State.
A statement issued by the Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, disclosed that the suspected terrorist, Lawan Abbai, had on Thursday morning led troops to where his colleagues had buried land mines and IEDs on the path used by troops in Gombori, where four other terrorists on the run were also intercepted.
The statement read following information provided by an arrested suspected Boko Haram terrorist, troops on Operation Lafiya Dole carried out mine and IEDs clearance at Gombori, which was along the troops main supply route.
“The troops located and recovered two heavy IEDs buried in the ground by suspected remnants of Boko Haram terrorists.
“In the process of recovering the deadly IEDs, the troops intercepted four fleeing suspected terrorists allegedly on their way to surrender to troops.
“On preliminary investigation, they were identified as confirmed terrorists members planting IEDs along troops routes by their arrested colleague,” he said.
The statement said five women and a baby held captive by the insurgents were rescued in the same Gombori area.
In recent weeks, the insurgents have been engulfed in leadership crisis, with the appointment of Al-Barnawi as the new leader by their affiliate Islamic State (ISIS), followed by the reappearance of Abubakar Shekau, the erstwhile leader, who claimed he was misled by the ISIS leadership.
The Nigeria military has continued its campaign in the northeast with aerial bombardment by the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and ground clearance operations by the Army.
This appeared to have deterred some elements of the sect.