By Chimezie Godfrey
Series of clearance operations, ambushes, and aerial patrols currently conducted by the military has led to the killing of several Boko Haram terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the recovery of arms and ammunition in troubled regions of the country.
This was disclosed on Thursday during a weekly update on the Operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria from 12 to 18 November, 2020 by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, Maj Gen. John Enenche.
Enenche disclosed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with vigour.
According to him, the various operations have progressed satisfactorily in all the theatres.
He said,”Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI and other subsidiary operations have sustained their operations in the North-West zone of the country aggressively.
“The gallant troops within the period carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes and aerial patrols.
“On 15 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD while on night patrol at Yar Tasha village made contact with armed bandits and engaged them in firefight. During the encounter, 3 armed bandits were neutralized while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds.
“Three AK 47 rifles were recovered during the operation. Same day, troops deployed at Ungwan Doka, rescued one kidnapped victim named Adamu Yahaya. Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was kidnapped at Unguwar Sa’ida village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“The victim has been reunited with his family.”
Enenche also said that within the period in focus, following credible intelligence on the presence of kidnappers in Garin Arawa of Tangaza Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
According to him, troops immediately mobilized to the village and made contact with kidnappers.
“In the course of the encounter, one kidnapper was killed in contact while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Items recovered include; one AK47 rifle, one magazine and one motorcycle.
“Equally, troops deployed at Jibia arrested 2 suspected kidnappers named Malam Ismail Isah and Malam Sale Samaila at Tsembe Kolumbo village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State. Suspects are currently in custody for further investigation.
“Similarly, one suspected bandit named Bello Ardo from Yargoje town in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State was arrested on 16 November 2020.
“He is currently in custody undergoing investigation.
“Earlier, on 14 November 2020, based on actionable intelligence that suspected bandits invaded Kura village in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State, troops of Forward Operating Base Kwatarkwashi swiftly mobilized to the area and made contact with them.
“After exchange of fire, the bandits escaped into the bush in disarray and abandoned 2 kidnapped victims named Hajiya Sakina and Zahru who were rescued by troops.
“Relatedly, 3 suspected bandits named Abdulmumini Maidoka, Lawal Abdullahi and Sanusi Abdullahi Ja’e were arrested by troops at Majafa village.
“Same day , based on credible information that a suspected bandit was sighted at Kukar Samu village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, troops moblised to the scene and arrested 2 suspected bandits’ collaborators named Nura Ibrahim and Abdullahi Yusuf while trying to escape with motorcycle belonging to bandits who fled on sighting troops.
“One Sabe Iliya from Muniya village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State was also apprehended while pretending to be a farmer but was identified by locals as bandit’s informant.”
Enenche said that the Air Component of Operation Thunder Strike neutralized several armed bandits in the Kwiambana Forest area of Kaduna State.
According to him, the operation, which took place on 12 November 2020, was executed sequel to reports that close to a hundred bandits carrying high calibre weapons, mounted on motorcycles rustled a large number of cattle and other livestock from Dankolo and Machitta Villages.
“The bandits and the rustled livestock were subsequently spotted by a Nigerian Air Force aircraft on reconnaissance mission at Kaboru village heading towards Kwiambana Forest.
“The Air Component therefore dispatched a NAF attack helicopter to the location which engaged the target area, leading to the neutralization of several of the bandits.
“The gallant troops have continued to dominate the general area with aggressive, confidence building and aerial patrols to deny bandits freedom of action.
“Thus, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies and avail them with the necessary information that will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the zone,” he stressed.
Enenche further disclosed that in the North-East zone, several land and air operations were conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies with significant results.
He said,”Between 12 and 18 November 2020, our gallant troops adopted sustained vigilance and offensive postures through comprehensive ground and air operations, successfully.
“Within this period, our ground troops conducted aggressive clearance operations and fighting patrols while, air operations include; comprehensive aerial surveillance missions, offensive air interdiction missions and air strikes.
“The ground operations resulted in the deletion of some terrorists, apprehension of IED maker and recovery of caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment.
“Troops also repelled and foiled several BHT/ISWAP attacks on own locations within the period. Notably, within the period, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE under its subsidiary Operation FIRE BALL, while on fighting patrol, came in contact with BHT elements at Ladantar general area in Borno State.
“During the encounter, the gallant troops with overwhelming firepower cleared the terrorists’ hideout and neutralized 2 of their fighters, while others fled in disarray.
“In the process, an IED maker was captured alongside some IED making equipment as well as arms and ammunition.
“In another development, troops successfully repelled terrorists’ attack on own troops’ location at Gwoza Town in Borno State, where one of their fighters was neutralized.
“Similarly, on 12 November 2020, troops successfully foiled terrorists’ attack on own location with superior firepower, also in Gwoza Town, forcing them to escape with various gunshot wounds. Arms and ammunition were captured.”
The Defence Spokesperson revealed that the Air Component of Operation Lafia Dole has continued with successful operations.
According to him, with the use of appropriate force packages of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Air Task Force executed successive bomb and rocket runs, on targeted terrorists’ enclaves at various locations in the North East zone.
He said some of these were executed at Njimia and Dure village areas in the Sambisa Forest of Borno State on 12 November 2020.
According to him, during the air strikes, terrorists’ hideouts were knocked out and some of their fighters were neutralized.
Enenche also said that the Armed Forces of Nigeria recorded outstanding successes in their operations in the North Central Zone.
According to him, in continuation of intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals in the North Central zone, troops of Operations Safe Haven and WHIRL Stroke conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts successfully.
Enenche also revealed that as part of concerted Civil Military Cooperation activities to cultivate cordial relations with the various ethnic groups in the North-Central zone, the Headquarters of Operations Safe Haven and Whirl Stroke fostered security meetings at various localities in the zone.
“Notably, on 12 November 2020, Headquarters operation Safe Haven fostered peace meetings with heads of security agencies, village heads, and leaders of various groups at Miango in Bassa and Shendam Local Government Areas of Plateau State respectively.
“This was followed by another round of meetings on 13 November 2020 at Sho village in Barkin Ladi and Ganawuri community in Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State respectively.
“Similarly, Headquarters Operation WHIRL STROKE held stakeholder meetings in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
“These meetings were organized in continuation of peace and reconciliation efforts in the zone.
“The meetings focused extensively on farmers/herders clashes, kidnapping, farm encroachment/destruction and other security challenges in the zone,” he stressed.
Enenche disclosed that troops of Operation Delta Safe have sustained the fight against economic sabotage in the South – South zone with significant results.
According to him, within the period, troops of 29 Battalion discovered and immobilized 2 illegal refining sites and wooden boat loaded with crude oil at Tupsoi general area in Ogu-Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He added that troops of 146 Battalion immobilized illegal refining sites containing 6 boilers, one 8 HP engine and 7 storage tanks loaded with crude oil and illegally refined AGO around Orutoru in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He also said that troops of 3 Battalion intercepted a Toyota Sequoia loaded with unspecified quantities of refined AGO along Alele in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Defence Spokesperson further said that on 16 November 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA gunboats on routine patrol around Mbo River intercepted 2 medium size wooden boats laden with 68 bags of 50 kg parboiled foreign rice suspected to have been smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon.
According to him, the items are currently in custody to be handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service for necessary action.
Enenche mentioned that among other successes recorded by the military in the zone was the discovery and immobilization of 2 reactivated illegal refineries containing an unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO at Samkiri in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He added that within the period, Operations CALM WATERS II and SWIFT RESPONSE recorded successes.
According to him, about 321 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice, as well as 2 suspects, were arrested and handed over to Nigeria Customs Service.
Other items intercepted were 2 wooden boats and a speedboat laden with 21,600 litres of petroleum products.
Enenche encouraged the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain determined and sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.
He also reassured the general public of the untiring commitment of the military towards securing the country.
Enenche enjoined members of the public to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action.