By Chimezie Godfrey
The Nigerian Military has neutralized scores of bandits and destroyed several of their camps in Niger and Kaduna States.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State.
The Commissioner stated that armed reconnaissance conducted in some LGAs in Kaduna State and neighbouring Niger state neutralized several bandits.
He equally disclosed that several of their camps at various locations were destroyed and set ablaze during the operation.
He said,”The air component of Operation Thunder Strike conducted a series of aerial missions across several locations, as reported in operational feedback from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to the Kaduna State Government.
“Armed reconnaissance was conducted over Erena, Kusasu, Kuduru, Kulefe, Kusherki and Shiroro in neighboring Niger State as well as Chikun and environs, in Chikun local government area. Bandits were seen fleeing Kaduna State part of Kusasu (in Chikun LGA) on motorcycles. They were trailed by the crew and subsequently neutralized.
“Following this, armed reconnaissance was conducted along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway, Olam Farms, Rugu, Akilbu, Polewire Rijana, Katari, Jere and adjoining settlements. Normal human activities and free flow of traffic were observed along the highway and rail line. All locations scanned were reported calm with no threats observed.
“Additionally, strike aircraft carried out operations over Jan Birni, Birnin Gwari local government area, which was observed to be active with bandits. The targets were attacked by the aircraft, and was subsequently confirmed that some bandits were indeed taken out and the camp set ablaze and destroyed.
“A second mission was flown over another identified camp in the area, which was also attacked, set ablaze and completely destroyed by two strike aircraft.
“Thereafter, a show-of-force was carried out by the aircraft over the Birnin Gwari general area, Kaduna metropolis and Zaria. Normal human activities were observed along the expressways and rail lines.”
Aruwan further revealed that the operations continued as aircraft conducted armed reconnaissance and show-of-force over Birnin Gwari, Kaduna metropolis and Zaria.
According to him, free flow of traffic was observed along the expressways and rail line, while normal activities were reported within the metropolis as citizens observed the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations without incident.
“Afterwards, a show-of-force was conducted over Gwagwada, Gadani, Chikun, Kusasu, Iburu, Zamba, Shiroro, Kuta, Kwatayi and Erena, spanning Chikun, Kachia and Kajuru LGAs. All locations covered were reported calm with no threats observed.
“These air operations, which include air interdiction, armed reconnaissance and patrols are set to be sustained over the coming days over Kaduna metropolis and other areas of interest in the state. Major highways will also be covered, including the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari, Kaduna-Abuja, Kaduna-Zaria, Kaduna-Kachia and Kaduna-Afaka roads,” the Commissioner stated.
Receiving the feedback, Governor Nasir El-Rufai commended the crews for the successful missions, and thanked them for their proactive operations.