(From Sani Idris, NAN)
The Kaduna State Government says the military securing the Kaduna-Abuja road general area has neutralised nine bandits following a firefight late on Monday night into the early hours of Tuesday.
Mr Samuel Aruwan, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Aruwan said that according to the operational feedback, troops acted on intelligence that the bandits were attempting to cross over from the eastern part of the Kaduna-Abuja highway to the western part with a large herd of rustled cattle.
“The herders, whose cattle had been rustled from the eastern part of the route, alerted the military for immediate action.
“An ambush was successfully laid by the troops, as the bandits walked into the killing zone and were welcomed with a hail of bullets,” he said.
According to him, after the firefight, a search of the area yielded the recovery of one empty magazine, one set of complete army camouflage and one set of desert boots.
He said that other items recovered were seven blankets, two Tecno mobile phones, one caftan outfit and ropes for tying cattle.
“At first light this morning, a further search revealed the corpse of one bandit, 16 dead cows and three wounded cows.
“Seven more bandits died from ferocious gunshot wounds sustained in the ambush and their bodies were mutilated.
“Troops, as of the time of this update, are still conducting vigorous search patrols in the general area,” he said.
Aruwan said that a separate feedback, troops and police on Dec. 29, also foiled another attempt by bandits to cross the Kaduna-Abuja highway with rustled cattle around the Greenfield University.
“The troops, guided by some local volunteers who pointed in the direction of the bandits’ movement, engaged the criminals in a firefight, sadly one of the local volunteers lost his life.
“The report also said one bandit corpse was found along with several rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition,” Aruwan said.
He said Gov. Nasir El-Rufai on receiving the feedback congratulated the security agencies on the successful operations and urged them to sustain the tempo in the ongoing offensives against bandits.
According to him, El-Rufai also sent his condolences to the family of the volunteer who lost his life and prayed for the repose of his soul.
“The governor also appealed to locals to always raise alarm in all cases and not only when they are directly affected, as banditry ultimately affects everyone.
“Furthermore, locals in villages around Jakada-Darabi, Gwanto, Kasarami, Kankomi, Chikwari and neighbouring locations in Chikun and Kajuru Local Government Areas are enjoined to report any person found seeking medical attention for suspicious wounds,” said the commissioner.