The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have stepped up operation, pushed into the inaccessible terrains and eliminated more bandits in the North West.
The Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the troops had continued to push deeper into the hitherto difficult terrains ahead of the dry season.
He disclosed that the troops had between Oct. 4 and Oct. 9 neutralised three bandits during clearance operation to identified bandit’s enclaves in Katsina State.
Onyeuko added that while some bandits escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds, troops captured one AK47 magazine loaded with 25 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, a dane gun and a motorcycle from the encounter.
He also disclosed that 10 bandits’ hideouts were destroyed at Dankar, Kandawa, Yau yau, Hayin Yau yau, Bugaje, Zandam, Kwari Mai Zurfi, Yar Gamji, Bukuru and Jibiyawa in Batsari and Jibiya Local Government Areas of the state.
According to him, four suspected bandits were arrested at Kankara and Tudu village of Kankara Local Government Area in a covert operation based on credible intelligence on Oct. 4.
The spokesperson further stated that the troops had on Oct. 5, rescued two kidnapped victims from bandits’ hideouts at Dan Umaru, Rancho and Dan Duniya villages.
According to him, many of the bandits managed to escape with various degrees of gunshot wounds while rescued victims have since been reunited with their families.
“Also, on the same day, following a tip-off, troops of Forward Operation Base Jengebe arrested a suspected drug peddler, one Mubarak Shehu at Jengebe Check Point in Wanki District of Gusau local government area.
“The suspect was caught with 20 packets of Pentazocine injection concealed in his motorcyle while on transit to deliver item at Kungurmi village of Bungudu LGA.
“Preliminary investigation revealed the drug baron is a member of the cartel that supplies hard drugs to bandits in the forest,” he said.
Onyeuko also disclosed that troops had rescued 23 kidnapped victims from fleeing bandits who abandoned the captives along Zauni-Jengebe road in Zamfara on Oct. 9 following a tip off.
He said the preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were kidnapped while on transit to Magami Market from Gusau in a passenger bus.
To this end, the gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity are commended for the remarkable successes achieved in the intensified operation and their commitment to duty.
“They are further urged not to rest on their oars until banditry and other sundry crimes are totally eliminated in the North-West.
“While the people of the North-West are once more assured of troops commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone.
“They are equally encouraged to continue to avail the troops with credible information that will assist them in the operation,” he said.