From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army said its soldiers fighting the bandits in the North West have killed 48 of them and rescued 18 persons held hostage in the first phase of its newly launched Operation Tsare Mutane, to flush out the criminals.
Among the bandits killed were four top commanders, namely; Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari, while the bandits leader in the area, Jummo, sustained gunshot injuries.
Items recovered from the bandits include eight AK-47 rifles and one G3 rifle, one PKT and a Machine gun.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, who made the disclosure, in a statement, said the soldiers, in another operation, destroyed several bandits camps around Gabiya, Bozaya and Mereri and the adjoining forests in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, and recovered 4,600 rounds of ammunition, two AK-103 rifles, eight AK-47 magazines, 1,628 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 54 rounds of PKM, one motorcycle and five Techno mobile phones.
Yerima’s statement reads.
Meanwhile, the COAS has congratulated the GOC and troops of 8 Division for the gains made, so far, and urged them to sustain their offensive operations until Zamfara and neighbouring States are stabilised. He further assured the GOC of his continuous support in achieving the overall objective of keeping the North West and the entire country free of terrorism, banditry and other violent crimes.