Molly Kilete, Abuja
The police force headquarters in Abuja has said its special operatives from Operation Puff Adder alongside personnel of the special forces have killed over 250 high-profile members of the Ansaru terror group.
The terrorists were said to have been killed at their hideout and stronghold located at Kuduru Forest, in Birnin Gwari, village in Kaduna State.
The camp is said to be the largest operational base of the terror group.
A police helicopter used for the operation which was shot by the terrorists was able to make an emergency landing at the Nigerian Air Force base in Kaduna, while the pilots who sustained gunshot injuries have since been treated.
Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in a statement, said the operation which commenced early on Tuesday morning was carried out by a combined team of operatives of Operation Puff Adder made up of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Forces, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS) and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),
Mba, in the statement, said
“Special Operatives of Operation Puff Adder of the Nigeria Police backed by the Special Forces of the Police Airwing, in a daring offensive operation, stormed one of the largest operational camps of the Ansaru Terror Group (also housing other bandits and kidnappers) located in Kuduru Forest, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State and successfully neutralised over 250 high-profile members of the Ansaru Terror Group.
“The operation which commenced in the early hours of today, 5th February 2020, was carried out by a combined team of operatives of Operation Puff Adder made up of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Forces, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS) and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The operation was necessitated by actionable intelligence linking terror and criminal elements in the super camp to a series of terror-related violence, kidnappings, gun-running, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes across the country.
“Unfortunately, during the operation, a police bell helicopter, which provided aerial and intelligence cover for the ground troops came under attack from the bandits using sophisticated anti-aircraft rifles and GPMG. Commendably, the pilot and the co-pilot who demonstrated uncommon courage and expertise, successfully landed the aircraft at the Air Force Base, Kaduna without further incident. They were thereafter evacuated for medical treatment. Both officers who sustained non-life threatening injuries are currently receiving treatment and are in stable condition.
“The police helicopter has since been flown out of the Kaduna Air Force Base by police pilots en-route to Abuja.
“Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police assures citizens of safety and sustained intelligence-led operations against bandits across the length and breadth of the nation. He has equally applauded the unparalleled bravery, commitment, and dedication of the police operatives currently conducting the special mission.”