The Defence Headquarters(DHQ), said military operations conducted on the last two weeks across the county has led to the arrest and killings of scores of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers, oil thieves and other criminals terrorizing the peace of the country.
Defence Media Operations
Major General John Enenche,who made this known at a media briefing in Abuja, said while scores of terrorists were killed during an air bombardment on their strongholds in the north east, 4 bandits were killed in the north west, three arrested while thirteen others were arrested. Similarly, eight bandits were arrested and 12 person held captive were rescued by soldiers.
Enenche who gave an update on the breakdown of military operations conducted in the last two weeks, said military operations has continued to yield positive results just as he assured the military would continue to do everything in its powers to rid the country of terrorists and criminals.
On the successes recorded so far, Enenche said “Troops of Operations HADARIN DAJI and THUNDER STRIKE have continued the aggressive clearance operations in the North-West zone of the country with attendant successes. For the past 2 weeks we have witnessed downward trend in the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the zone. Troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY on 27 September 2020, acting on credible intelligence arrested 4 suspected armed bandits along Sheme-Kankara Road in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State. The suspects are in custody of troops for further action. Also, troops of Operation ACCORD on 28 September 2020 during a raid operation neutralized 2 armed bandits and arrested 3 others at Dajin Kajuru village in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State. The gallant troops also recovered 2 magazines, 36 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) and 2 motorcycles.
3. Furthermore, on 2 October 2020, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Sabon Layi rescued 4 kidnapped victims from Giruwa village of Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State, following artillery bombardments on suspected bandits’ location at Unguwan-Doka village, which resulted in killing 4 of the bandits. Preliminary investigation revealed that the kidnapped victims have been in captivity for 12 days. All rescued victims have been re-united with their families. On 3 October 2020, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY while conducting a Stop and Search operation arrested 3 suspected kidnappers in Musawa Local Government Area of Katsina State. Items recovered from the suspects include one locally made gun, 3 mobile phones and one motorcycle. In the same vein, troops of Operation THUNDER STRIKE deployed at Rijana on 4 October 2020 acting on credible intelligence neutralized 2 armed bandits along Kaduna-Abuja expressway and recovered 2 locally made guns.
4. The gallant troops have continued to dominate the general areas with clearance patrols, aggressive fighting patrols and confidence-building patrols. The Military High Command commend the troops and encourages the good people of the zone to continue to avail the troops with information that will assist them in the operation.
NORTH EAST ZONE
5. In the North East zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to successfully sustain the tempo in the fight against terrorism. Troops conducted clearance operations, aggressive patrols and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, air offensive operations as well as artillery and aerial bombardments in the theatre of operation.
6. Within the period under review, troops successfully repelled terrorists attacks on own troops and civilian locations, arrested some terrorists with their logistics supplies and recovered arms and ammunition. On 1 October 2020, BHT/ISWAP criminal elements attacked own troops’ location at Baga in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, but our gallant troops thwarted the attack and neutralized 3 of their fighters and recovered some arms and ammunition. In a related development, own troops in conjunction with Civilian JTF repelled terrorist attack at Miringa Village in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State and neutralized one of them and arrested another, while several others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds. Furthermore, following credible intelligence on terrorists’ convergence at Chinguwa Village in Niger Republic close to Gashigar in Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State, troops arrested a Nigerien BHT/ISWAP arms and logistics supplier close to an IDP Camp in Diffa Region of Niger Republic on 3 October 2020. Similarly, on 4 October 2020, troops of 120 Battalion arrested one BHT/ISWAP element, Modu Bori at Mugtum Village in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.
7. In addition, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted several air operations on terrorists’ hideouts and logistics bases, at different locations in the zone. The air operations were executed with the aid of appropriate force package consisting of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships. The Air Task Force package of Operation HAIL STORM 2, on 1 October 2020 acting on credible human intelligence and series of aerial surveillance missions, executed air strikes on terrorists’ hideouts at Maima and Tusuye Settlements near Warshale and Tongule Villages along Dikwa-Rann axis in Borno State. During the air strikes, scores of terrorists were neutralized and several structures housing them and their logistics items were destroyed. In a similar development, where air strikes were executed on terrorists den at Tumbun Gini Village in Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State, several terrorists were killed alongside one of their commanders, Umar Leni.
8. In the North-Central zone, troops have continued to sustain aggressive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals. Within the period under review, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN and WHIRL STROKE conducted several raids at identified armed bandits’ camps at various locations in the zone, which resulted in appreciable successes. These ongoing kinetic efforts were supported by Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities in the form of medical outreaches and stakeholders’ meetings among the various ethnic groups in the zone.
9. Notably, within the period, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, in conjunction with the Defence Intelligence Agency Tactical Surveillance team, conducted a dawn raid operation to a suspected armed bandits’ hideout at Maraban Udege in Nasarawa State. The operation led to the arrest of a notorious bandit, one “Adamu Abu”, with one locally made rifle and 4 rounds of ammunition.
10. Following, was another raid on 25 September 2020 where troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE and 117 Guards Battalion, while on a joint clearance operation around Mararaba Udege in Nasarawa State, raided a suspected kidnappers’ camp along Bakonu road in Nasarawa LGA. During the operation, the troops neutralized 2 kidnappers and rescued 3 kidnapped victims. Thereafter, the troops conducted a dawn raid operation at an identified militia hideout around Kwaghaondo village in Chanchanji council ward of Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State. This came on the heels of credible intelligence on the possible regrouping of some criminal elements linked to late Gana. The gallant troops neutralized 2 bandits during the encounter while one AK 47 rifle, one magazine and 15 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were recovered.
11. Furthermore, on 1 October 2020, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN in collaboration with personnel of Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology Kachia, arrested an armed bandit, one “Nuhu Pate” at Laduga in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State, following credible intelligence on his whereabout. Gentlemen of the press, it is noteworthy to mention that the suspect is allegedly one of the criminal masterminds behind several robberies, kidnappings and other heinous activities in the Southern Kaduna general area.
12. In a similar vein, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN neutralized a notorious bandit leader along with some of his fighters following a daring raid on the bandits’ hideout at Tafawa village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State on 5 October 2020. Troops recorded the feat following actionable intelligence on the whereabout of the bandit leader who was receiving treatment following injuries sustained in combat with troops earlier on 26 September 2020.
13. Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued with the aggressive fight against economic sabotage in the zone with significant successes. On 2 October 2020, following credible intelligence on incessant illegal bunkering activities in Ifie, Ugbokodo community in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, a patrol team of Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA raided the general area. On arrival at the community, the team discovered a makeshift jetty suspected to be used for illegal bunkering activities. More than 500 drums with petroleum products were concealed in different locations in the community. The drums with products were handled appropriately. The team also discovered an abandoned bunkering vehicle laden with petroleum products as well as a pumping machine.
14. In another development, a joint team from Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER, Forward Operating Base Bonny and troops of 146 Battalion during early hours of 6 October 2020, rescued 5 kidnapped foreign expatriates. The expatriates were abducted on 9 May 2020 onboard MT RIO MITONG and MT DJIBLOHO by unknown militants group in Yellow Island. The 5 expatriates comprising 3 Russians, one Ukrainian and one and one Equatorial Guinean though in good health are presently at NNS PATHFINDER medical centre receiving medical attention.
15. Similarly, on 1 October 2020, troops of Sector 3 operation DELTA SAFE immobilized 3 illegal refineries containing 5 surface tanks loaded with unspecified litres of illegally refined oil products around Alakiri Creek and Elele forest in Emuoha and Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State. Additionally, on 3 October 2020, troops of 146 Battalion immobilized 3 illegal refineries containing 4 boilers, 4 storage tanks and One Cotonou boat loaded with illegally refined crude oil around Opokiri and Bodo in Bonny and Ogu- Bolo Local Government Areas respectively.
16. On a special note, Nigerian Navy is to participate in the annual multi-national sea Exercise tagged GRAND AFRICAN NEMO within the Eastern Naval Command Area of Responsibility. Some foreign ships from Italy and US are expected to participate in the Exercise. The ships include United States Ship HERSHEL WOODY WILLIAMS and Italian Navy Ship MARTINENGO. The participating Nigerian Navy ships include NNS THUNDER, OKPABANA, KYANWA, GONGOLA and NNS SHIRORO.
SOUTH WEST ZONE
17. In the South West zone, troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements. On 2 October 2020, operatives of Operation BURST in conjunction with vigilantes raided a suspected kidnapper’s hideout at old Oyo National Park forest in Kishi Local Government Area of Oyo State. During the operation, 3 suspects were neutralized and 2 others were arrested while 4 AK47 and one AK49 rifles and 4 magazines loaded with 48 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) were recovered.
18. Similarly, a combined team of Operation SAFE CONDUCT in Igbokoda, Ondo State on 1 October 2020, conducted a joint show of force and clearance operation in the riverine areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas of Ondo State. The operation was conducted along designated routes and suspected flashpoints. During the operation, the team stormed a suspected militants’ camp at a creek in Asere, Ese-Odo Local Government Area. On arrival, the suspects fled into the bush, however, the team conducted search in the camp and recovered 4 empty magazines, one locally made pistol, 92 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 56 cartridges and 11 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition. Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs.
19. The Military High Command congratulates all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies for the feats recorded in various operations across the country. Troops are further encouraged to remain determined and sustain the tempo in curtailing the activities of terrorists, armed bandits and other criminals. The High Command of the Armed Forces also reassures the general public of its unwavering commitment to securing the country for all human activities to strive. Members of the general public are requested to continue providing timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the nearest military and other security agencies location for prompt action.