Troops neutralise 45 bandits and arrest 60 others
According to the Defence Headquarters, armed forces soldiers acting in several theatres of action in the North West and North Central have killed 45 bandits and detained 60 more in the previous two weeks.
Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Activities, revealed this while delivering an update on military operations around the country on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Onyeuko, Operation Hadarin Daji soldiers dominated the operations theatre with aggressive combat patrols and other kinetic actions, which were backed up by intense airstrikes.
In the different operations, he added, the forces rescued four abducted victims, neutralised five bandits, and captured four bandit collaborators.
During the period, the forces also found seven AK-47 weapons, 275 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, and motorbikes, according to Onyeuko.
Multiple airstrikes against bandits’ enclaves were carried out in repeated passes in different places, according to him, by the Air Component of the Operation, which used a force package of NAF platforms.
“One of them was in the Kwaga forest in Kaduna State’s Birnin Gwari general area.
“During the operation, no fewer than 40 armed bandits were neutralised and several structures that served as their logistics bases were destroyed,” he said. “In addition, several armed bandits were neutralised and their hideouts were destroyed during air interdiction missions executed at other locations.”
Yanfako, Meshema, Gatawa and Gebe woods in the Isaa and Sabon Birni LGAs of Sokoto State, as well as Ranch 10 in the Rugu forest region on the Kankara border, were among the places he mentioned.
Onyeuko further stated that Operation Safe Haven soldiers have maintained vigilance and have continued to control the operating theatre with frequent land and air patrols in order to deny criminal elements freedom of action.
According to him, the activities resulted in the seizure of 570 packages and seven wraps of cannabis Sativa valued at N17.1 million.
Eleven abducted citizens were rescued, 41 criminals were apprehended, 11 weapons, including AK-57 rifles, locally manufactured rifles, pistols, and SMGs, 446 rounds of ammunition, and 267 animals were seized, according to him.
Onyeuko stated that Operation Safe Haven hosted peace and security talks in its area of responsibility as well as engaging youngsters in athletic activities at various places across the theatre.
He stated that a 15-kilometer Peace and Unity Marathon Competition had been organised for male and female teenagers from all ethnic and religious groups to participate in a peaceful manner.
“Some of the tournaments were held in Kaduna State’s Sanga Local Government Area, as well as Plateau’s Jos metropolis, Riyom, Jos North, and Jos South Local Government Areas.
“To a large degree, these encouraged civil-military collaboration and improved peaceful cohabitation among ethnic and religious groups in the theatre,” he added.
During Operation Whirl Stroke, Onyeuko claimed the forces discovered 22 weapons in Benue and Taraba states, including AK-47 rifles, MGs, and locally-made handguns, as well as 461 rounds of ammunition.
In the course of the operations, he claimed, 15 criminals were apprehended, including bandits, herders, and drug dealers, while four abducted people were rescued.
At Igumale town in Benue and Lau in Taraba, troops held peace and security talks with community/youth leaders, as well as other important stakeholders and security agencies, he said.
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