By Chimezie Godfrey
The military has neutralized scores of bandits, arrested illegal miners and recovered arms and ammunition in the North-West zone of the country.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Maj Gen John Enenche stated this on Monday.
Enenche disclosed that troops of Operation Accord have intensified the onslaught against criminal elements in the North West zone with significant successes.
According to him, the gallant troops on 21 November 2020 while on covert operation at Galadi village in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State made contact with bandits.
He said,”During the operation, 2 bandits were neutralised while 2 AK 47 rifles were recovered.
“Equally, the gallant troops during clearance operation at Sabon Tunga and Tamuske villages neutralised several armed bandits and rescued 3 kidnapped victims.
“The gallant troops supported by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships bombarded bandit’s enclaves at Dutsen Emai in Zamfara State.”
“In another development, still on same 21 November 2020, troops while on routine patrol at Gobirawa village made contact with armed bandits.
“During the encounter, 6 armed bandits were neutralised while 4 AK 47 rifles, 3 Dane guns and 2 motorcycles were recovered.”
Enenche further revealed that following credible intelligence on activities of illegal miners at Kadauri general area in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, troops swiftly mobilized to the scene and apprehended 11 suspected illegal miners.
He said the suspects have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authority for further action.
The Defence Spokesperson also disclosed that troops of Forward Operating Base Kwatarkwashi arrested one Shafiu Suleman, a wanted bandits’ informant at Kwatarkwashi Market.
According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was the mastermind of the recent kidnapping of some Locals within Kwatarkwashi district of Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
He further said that following distress call on the presence of suspected bandits at Gidan Ruwa along Rukudawa axis of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on 22 November 2020, troops swiftly responded and pursued the bandits as they fled on sighting the approaching troops.
He, however, said that one bandit was neutralised, while one AK 47 rifle and one magazine loaded with 29 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were recovered.
He added that two bandits were arrested in the process.
Enenche also revealed that following credible intelligence reports, troops on 22 November 2020, arrested a suspected kidnap kingpin in Kurfi Local Government Area of Katsina State.
According to him, the suspect who has been on the wanted list is presently in custody for further action.
He assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will not relent until all enemies of the nation are neutralised and normalcy is restored to all troubled zones.