Troops eliminate 391 bandits, arrest scores in N/W, NC


The Defence Headquarters says troops eliminated no fewer than 391 bandits and arrested about 60 including bandits’ informants and collaborators in various operations across North West and North Central in one month.

The Acting Director, Defence Media Operation, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this while giving update on the military operations across the country between Sept. 2 and Sept. 30 on Thursday, in Abuja.

Under operation Hadarin Daji, Onyeuko said the troops intensified their offensive operations on bandits’ enclaves in the North West Zone leading to the killing of 240 bandits within the period

He said that the Air component conducted air bombardments on criminal enclaves in different locations in Zamfara leading to the killing of no fewer than 53 bandits, while several others escaped with varying degree of gunshot wounds.

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He also disclosed that troops recovered 125 assorted arms including AK-47 and FN riffles, dane guns and 1,166 rounds of 7.62mm special/NATO ammunition.

According to him, a total of 1,304 livestock and 54 motorcycles among other items were also recovered during the period.

Onyeuko further disclosed that a total of 47 bandits, informants and bandits’ collaborators were arrested within the period.

He said the operations had drastically degraded their operational capabilities and denied them freedom of action, frustrated movement of arms, ammunition and other illegal items and at the same time built confidence among locals.

Under Operation Safe Haven, Onyeuko said that troops arrested 15 suspects including two drug peddlers, two armed herdsmen and 11 bandits  were involved in an attack on Angwan Thabo village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

He said troops also rescued some civilians who were kidnapped at Jakko Gashish District in Barkin Ladi Local Government t of Plateau and arrested two kidnappers on Sept. 9.

“A gun runner and impostor named, Saliu Ibriahim, was arrested at Mailafiya village in Jama’a Local Government Area with a total of 14 locally fabricated rifles, 27 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 14 cartridges and 44 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition among other items,” he said

“Under Operation Whirl Stroke, Defence Spokesperson said troops and other security operatives arrested a notorious militia leader named Keffas Aondofa aka Azonto at Jalingo Metropolis in Taraba.

He said that Azonto, who took over leadership of the late Gana’s militia gang, had been on wanted list for terrorising and imposing levies on locals in the state.

According to him, a total of 15 bandits were neutralised, while 23 AK-47 rifles with magazines as well as 66 rounds of 7.62mm special and 39mm ammunition were recovered during the period.

“Under Operation Thunder Strike/whirl Punch, troops maintained their highway and fighting patrols to dominate and provide security in major and minor roads as well as deny armed elements freedom of action.

“ Sept. 5, offensive air strikes were executed, using a force pack of Nigerian Air Force platforms, on a bandits’ camp at Kuza Hills, which led to the destruction of some of the criminals’ hideouts and logistics facilities.

“No fewer than 43 bandits were neutralised in the process.

“In same vein, over 40 bandits were neutralised at Fadaman Kanauta in Kidandan forest under Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“This feat was achieved when the Air Component carried a 3-day intensive air offensives on bandits’ enclaves at the location between Sept.13 and Sept. 15,” he said. (NAN)

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