By Chimezie Godfrey
Military airstrikes by the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji have neutralized scores of bandits in Katsina and Zamfara States.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Maj. – Gen. John Enenche disclosed this on Thursday.
He said,”The Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI has neutralized scores of armed bandits in separate operations conducted in Katsina and Zamfara States from 21 to 23 December 2020.
“The operations in Katsina State included an airstrike executed on 22 December 2020 after intelligence reports indicated that a group of bandits, armed with high calibre weapons, had rustled some cattle and attacked commuters along the Batsari-Jibia Road.
“The bandits, who were reportedly retreating with the stolen livestock towards Garin Labo, were tracked and located by a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) attack helicopter, as they were heading towards Runka Forest.
“The helicopter unleashed heavy barrage of rocket fire on the bandits, killing no fewer than 21 of them, as later confirmed by Human Intelligence (HUMINT) sources.”
Gen Enenche also revealed that in a similar development, on the same day, an attack helicopter on night armed reconnaissance mission over Tsambre Hill and Dunya Forest in Katsina State spotted another group of armed bandits in the Forest.
According to him, the bandits were engaged by the helicopter leading to the neutralization of 17 of them while some escaped with gunshot wounds.
“The operations in Zamfara State were conducted on 21 and 23 December 2020 sequel to credible HUMINT reports that led to the identification of the hideouts of bandits terrorizing communities in Konama District of Maru Local Government Area (LGA) in Zamfara State.
“The Air Component dispatched its attack helicopters to engage the bandits’ hideouts at Yan Uku, neutralizing several of them,” he said.