Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau.
Troops of Operation Sharan Daji (OPSD) have killed 21 bandits and captured 17 others during clearance operations against banditry in Zamfara State.
A statement by the Acting Force Information Officer (OPSD), Major Clement Abiade, said the current offensive was designed to identify and destroy bandits’ camps/enclaves in the area of operation.
Abiade said the troops, on January 22, during clearance operations in Gando Forest, came in contact with a large number of bandits armed with firearms and rocket-propelled grenades, leading to a fierce gun battle that lasted several hours.
“The casualty figures on the bandits’ side during this encounter was 21 bandits neutralised, while 17 were captured alive. Troops also destroyed some of their camps and rescued 89 victims held in some of the camps,” he said.
He added that two of the bandits’ informants, Musa Amadu and Auwalu Mutairu, were arrested at Danfumi village in Birnin Magaji and are currently assisting the miltary with intelligence.
“It is worthy to note that, out of 89 freed kidnap victims, 55 of them were held captives in Bukkuyum LGA in Zamfara State.
“It is significant to inform the general public that 11 civilians and one vigilante were killed by bandits during the period in focus. It is also important to state that six persons were kidnapped at Asoula village in Tsafe LGA,” he said.
Abiade said items recovered from the bandits over the period stated included one single-barrel gun, two locally made pistols, 20 cartridges of double-barrel gun bullets, 60 rounds of 7.62mm, one AK-47 magazine containing 18 rounds of 7.62mm, two dane guns, four motorcycles, large quantity of Indian hemp and other illicit drugs.