From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) soldiers on counterinsurgency, anti banditry operations and other internal security operations across the country have killed and arrested 114, terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements in the last two weeks.
The DHQ, also said soldiers rescued 27, kidnapped victims and recovered several arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons from the criminals within the period under review.
The Director, Defence Media Organisation (DMO), Major General Bernard Onyeuko, who made this known at a media briefing in Abuja, also said that 863 members of the Boko Haram terrorists group and their families comprising 136 males, 251 females and 476 children surrounded to troops deployed at different locations in the North East.
Onyeuko at a briefing on the update of military operations conducted between January 6-20, said troops have in the last two weeks maintained aggressive operations on terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements by sustaining offensive engagements in all theatres of operation within the country, that recorded tremendous successes.
Gen Onyeuko said that the troops during the period discovered and destroyed 39 illegal refining sites, 91 cooking ovens, 24 reservoirs, 17 large dugout pits, 96 storage tanks and recovered 637,500 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and 950,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
Giving an update of the operations, Onyeuko said “troops aggressively sustained their operations on the terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements by maintaining offensive engagements in all theatres of operation within the country, which recorded appreciable results. This brief will highlight the operational activities of own troops and other security agencies conducting operations to tackle security challenges in the country between 6 and 20 January 2022.
OPERATION HADIN KAI
In Operation HADIN KAI, troops conducted various land and air operations in different locations of the theatre with renewed vigour that recorded significant results in the last 2 weeks. Some of the operations were conducted at different locations in towns, villages and forests under; Konduga, Mafa, Dikwa, Gwoza, Bama, Bayo, Kukawa, Monguno, Nganzai and Damboa LGAs of Borno as well as locations in the Sambisa forest. Troops also recorded significant results at various locations in Adamawa and Yobe States, around the Mandara Mountain and along Damaturu – Potuskum road, respectively. Notably, ground troops with the support of the Air Component aggressively foiled terrorists’ attempted infiltration into Biu town in Borno State. During the encounter, troops neutralized scores of the terrorists and captured their gun trucks and other weapons. These operations resulted in the elimination and arrest of several terrorists, recovery of assorted arms, ammunition, livestock and other items of security concern as well as the rescue of abducted civilians. Furthermore, troops’ operational activities have continued to drive terrorists out of their camps into surrendering with their arms and families in the North East Zone of the country. Consequently, within this period under review, own troops neutralized a total of 37 terrorist elements, arrested 17 of them as well as recovered 21 assorted arms and 117 rounds of different calibres of ammunition, while a total of 4 gun trucks were captured from the terrorists. Additionally, troops rescued a total of 16 abducted civilians within the period. A total of 863 terrorists and their families comprising 136 adult males, 251 adult females and 476 children surrounded to own troops deployed at different locations, including; Banki, Bama, Dikwa, Gwoza and Gamboru towns in Borno State, within the period. The surrendered terrorists have been properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
Relatedly, the Air Component of Operation HADIN KAI scored devastating hits on terrorists’ stronghold at Arina Chiki village in the Lake Chad Basin in Borno State, which resulted in the neutralization of scores of the terrorist, while several others escaped with various degrees of injuries. This feat was achieved on 14 January 2022, when on the heels of credible intelligence, a force package of NAF platforms were dispatched to attack the identified location which the terrorists used as a venue for biweekly meetings. Consequently, the NAF platforms took out the terrorists in successful turns of airstrikes.
OPERATION HADARIN DAJI
The troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI within the last 2 weeks, maintained the operational tempo by conducting clearance operations on criminal enclaves across the theatre. Some of the locations in which troops’ operational efforts yielded significant results are; Gurbin Baure – Shimfada road, Gidan Saleh and Girnashe villages as well as Jibia town in Jibia LGA, all in Katsina State. Other locations were; Wasagu town in Danko-Wasagu LGA of Kebbi State and Kara Kalmalo village in Ilella LGA of Sokoto State.
Consequently, these operations resulted in the neutralization of 12 armed bandits and the arrest of 15 including their collaborators. Also, a total of 16 assorted arms, 136 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 114 rustled livestock were recovered by their own troops within the period. In addition, troops recovered 3 extra magazines of AK-47 rifles and 4 motorcycles from bandits, while a total of 3 kidnapped civilians were rescued in the course of the operations.
OPERATION SAFE HAVEN
Within the last 2 weeks, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN carried out several operational activities at different locations of the theatre that yielded significant results. Some of the operations were executed at; Shendam in Shendam LGA, Rukuba road and Apata area in Jos North LGA; Tyana community in Riyom LGA, Vom town in Jos South LGA, Tudu village in Bokkos LGA, Gassa Sho Hills in Barkin Ladi LGA and Kampani village in Wase LGA, all in Plateau State. Other locations are; Afana Bujja Forest and Gidan Waya village in Jama’a LGA as well as Kaffin village and Kiffin Chawai Chiefdom in Kaura LGA of Kaduna State. In the course of the operations, troops arrested some criminal elements including armed robbers and bandits, their collaborators, drug peddlers and fraudsters as well as rescued kidnapped civilians and recovered several items of security concern. Thus, within the period, own troops arrested 27 criminal elements and rescued 6 kidnapped civilians. Also, troops recovered 5 arms and 69 different calibres of ammunition among other items of security concern in the course of their operations.
OPERATION WHIRL STROKE
The operational efforts of troops in Operation WHIRL STROKE within the last 2 weeks resulted in the neutralization and arrest of armed bandits and other criminal elements, recovery of arms and ammunition as well as the rescue of kidnapped civilians. Some of the operations were conducted at; Mblash village in Katsina-Ala LGA, Igumale forest in Ado LGA, Abande village in Kwande LGA and Apia village in Gwer West LGA of Benue State. Other locations were; Gongola Clinic area; Tor-Damisah and Abako villages as well as Wukari – Takum road, all in Wukari LGA of Taraba State. Consequently, a total of 5 criminals were arrested, while 9 different arms including AK-47 rifles and some locally-made guns as well as 742 rounds of different calibres of ammunition were recovered. Additionally, troops rescued 2 kidnapped civilians and recovered 2 motorcycles, while large quantities of cannabis sativa were impounded in the course of the operations within the same period. Peace and security meetings were held with community and youth leaders and other critical stakeholders as non-kinetic means of tackling insecurity. Some of these meetings were held at; Nasarawa State Government House, Lafia and Office of the District Head of Lau Lau LGA of Taraba State.
OPERATION DELTA SAFE
Operation DELTA SAFE has continued to sustain its operational tempo in the fight against illegal oil production and other sundry crimes through kinetic and non-kinetic means in the South-South Zone. Troops’ land, maritime and air operations within the past 2 weeks yielded appreciable results and forestalled activities of vandals as well as other economic saboteurs in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region. Some of these operations were executed at different locations in villages, creeks and towns in Emohua, Ikwere, Port Harcourt and Ahoada LGAs of Rivers State. Other locations are villages, towns and creeks in; Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North LGAs of Delta State as well as in Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs of Bayelsa State. Also, operations were conducted at Opobo creek and some communities in Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom State as well as Ukwa West LGA of Abia State, which yielded significant results within the period under review.
Consequently, in the last 2 weeks, troops discovered and immobilized a total of 39 illegal refining sites, 91 cooking ovens, 24 reservoirs, 17 large dugout pits and 96 storage tanks. Consequently, a total of 637,500 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil; 950,000 litres of stolen crude oil were recovered in the course of the operations. In addition, 10 criminals associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested within the period. Also, troops recovered 3 assorted arms, 48 rounds of different calibres of ammunition, 2 AK-47 rifle magazines as well as 17 pieces of galvanized pipes and 23 wooden boats among other items used for illegal oil bunkering activities in the course of the operations. All the arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.
Gentlemen of the Press, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies across the country have and will continue to maintain their stand in the efforts to deny criminal elements freedom of actions. The Military High Command appreciates the troops for their sacrifices in the various theatres of operation and commends their courage and resilience in combating the security challenges across the country. The general public is highly appreciated also, for the cooperation given the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the course of our operations. However, like Oliver Twist, we hereby solicit more cooperation and understanding. Gentlemen of the press, we appreciate you for your immense support and further encourage all to continue to avail security forces with credible and timely information that will aid our proactive operational engagements in the country.