The Air Task Force (ATF), in support of the operation, has also continued to strike at the bandits as well as destroying their enclaves in the forests.
Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau
In a clampdown operation conducted by the combined military forces of Operation Sharan Daji (OPSD), the Nigerian Army killed 20 notorious bandits terrorising Zamfara State. This was disclosed by the acting director, defence information, Brig. Gen. John Agim, yesterday in Gusau while briefing journalists on activities of OPSD, which is fighting banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping in Zamfara State.
Agim said 20 bandits were neutralized and 21 suspects arrested while illicit arms were recovered.
“Of utmost interest are the sophisticated weapon systems that have been recovered. These included 24 AK 47 rifles, two pump action guns, one double barrel gun, 40 magazines with 1,798 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one locally made pistol, eight locally made guns and 2 cartridges. Others were seven dane guns, one FN bayonet, seven axes, two bows and arrows, one handcuff, 30 machetes and six knives,” he said.
He added that during the period in focus, troops also rescued two persons abducted by kidnappers and recovered 1,444 cows, 478 sheep, 11 camels, 14 donkeys, 56 rams and 293 goats.
Agim commended the state government for recruiting 8500 civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) to compliment the security agencies to improve community watch and information gathering in the fight against criminal activities. He further said that since the commencement of Operation 777 on October 8, significant operational successes have been recorded.
Agim said the OPSD which is part of Operation 777 has been reinvigorated through the support from the defence headquarters to perform maximally as raid operations, robust patrols, ambushes and surveillance in the past days have been intensified.
“The newly reinvigorated OPSD now covers the entire Zamfara State and some LGAs of the contiguous states of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto. All these efforts contributed immensely to the achievements of OPSD during the period under review,” he said.
He said tremendous achievements were recorded in the area of trans-border security collaboration between the governments of Nigeria and the Republic of Niger.
“Joint patrols were exploited to Sahiel forest and Gidan Jiya in Niger Republic where bandits who escaped military onslaught from our troops in Zamfara State hibernate to rearm or plan their nefarious activities,” he said.
He said the Air Task Force (ATF), in support of the operation, has also continued to strike at the bandits as well as destroying their enclaves in the forests.
He said: “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.”