Nigerian troops involved in ongoing military operations in the northwest, Nigeria code name “Sharan Daji’ have killed 20 bandits while 21 suspects were arrested.
Brigadier General John Agim, the acting Director, Defence Information, disclosed on Wednesday at a press conference on the activities of Operation SHARAN DAJI being conducted by the combined forces of the military and other security agencies.
The acting Director said during the period in focus, troops also recovered 1,444 cows, 478 sheep, 11 camels, 14 donkeys, 56 rams and 293 goats.
General Agim said the newly reinvigorated OPSD now covered entire Zamfara State and some LGAs of the contiguous States of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto.
His words: “Substantial numbers of suspected bandits were neutralized and some have been apprehended and they are undergoing interrogation and will soon be prosecuted. These efforts have created enabling environment for the return of IDPs back to their ancestral homes.
“Currently the spate of attacks on innocent citizens, kidnappings, animal rustling, armed robbery, imposition of levies and criminalities in some parts of OPSD AOR have been drastically reduced.
“The OPSD has been reinvigorated through the support from the Defence Headquarters to perform maximally. Raid operations, robust patrols, ambushes and surveillance in the past days have been intensified.
“The Air Task Force (ATF) in support of this operation has also continued to strike at the bandits as well as destroying their enclaves in the forests.
“The air bombardment on bandits’ camps and hideout has kept them constantly on the run, disorganized and incapable of launching coordinated attacks on communities like before, and this will continue to be sustained.
“Joint patrols were exploited to Sahiel forest and GidanJiya in Niger Republic where bandits who escaped military onslaught from our troops in Zamfara State hibernate to re-arm or plan their nefarious activities.
“These patrols have so far yielded significant successes as a lot of criminals have been intercepted and illicit arms recovered.
“These included 24 AK47 Riffles,2 pump action guns, 1 double barrel gun, 40magazines with quantity 1,798 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 1 locally made pistol, 8 locally made guns and 2 cartridges.
“Others were 7Dane guns, 1FN Bayonet, 7 axes, 2 bows and arrows, 1 handcuff, 30 machetes and 6 short knives.” He said.
General Agim also said during those encounters, one soldier paid the supreme price while 6 others wounded.