By Chimezie Godfrey
The Defence Headquarters, Abuja has said that troops have neutralized scores of armed bandits in Kaduna.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, Maj-Gen. John Enenche disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
Enenche said the troops recorded this success in a joint operation by the Land and Air Components of the Operation Thunder Strike conducted on Saturday.
He said,”The Land and Air Components of Operation Thunder Strike have neutralized scores of armed bandits in a joint offensive operation to clear identified bandits’ camps in the Yadi and Kufai Shantu areas of Giwa Local Government Area (LGA), Kaduna State.
“The operation was executed on 24 October 2020 on the heels of credible human intelligence reports as well as series of aerial surveillance missions that led to the identification of the hideouts of a notorious bandits’ leader and his fighters.
“The first wave of the Air Component’s air strikes, which involved 7 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft undertaking 12 missions in a total of 23 sorties, commenced at dawn and targeted a cluster of huts housing notorious armed bandits’ leader, named Buhari Halilu.
“The attack aircraft destroyed some of the target structures and neutralized several bandits.”
Enenche said the second wave of attacks, which targeted the bandits’ hideout at Kufai Shantu, was aimed at incapacitating the bandits at the location to reduce resistance to the ground troops advance towards Yadi.
According to him, following the Air Component’s fixing efforts at Kufai Shantu, the Land Component, supported by an attack helicopter, successfully assaulted Halilu’s hideout at Yadi, clearing 2 of 3 objectives.
He said the ground troops subsequently fought through fierce resistance from bandits hiding under the foliage at the third objective and eventually overpowered the criminals, eliminating several of them.
Enenche who said the Air Component provided effective support to the ground troops during all phases of the operation, urged them to remain resolute in the fight against the criminals.
“The Military High Command commends the Land and Air Components for their professionalism and urges them to remain resolute in the conduct of operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits.
“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria sincerely appreciates the continued support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, as it keeps up the tempo of operations to defeat all enemies of the Nation,” he said.