The Defence Headquarters has said that the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji deployed in Zamfara State has continued to close in on the bandits in the state.
It also stated that the troops have neutralised many of such criminals as well as released kidnapped victims from their holds, in the last one week.
The Acting Director Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, in a statement yesterday in Abuja ,said that the troops in a subsidiary operation ‘Chingaba’, successfully released 12 kidnapped victims and united them with their families, including the District Head of Wuya, who was kidnapped a week ago .
Onyeuko said in another clearance operations conducted by troops at Gidan Usman, Gidan Babagoji, Gadauna, Gidan Janari, Kekuwaje, Gidan Sarki, Gardi and Bingi all in Bungudu Local Government Area, nine bandits were killed.
Onyeuko said that 14 bandits were also arrested while 13 houses belonging to them were set ablaze by the troops. According to him, a total of 67 cattle rustled by the bandits were recovered and handed over to the district heads of the communities.
“In the same vein, troops engaged some bandits who attacked Julee village and rustled goats. The bandits came under the fierce firepower of the troops, abandoned the goats and fled into the forest. The troops recovered the goats and handed them over to their owners.
“Similarly, troops on patrol at Nasarrawa village, close to Tunga Haki in Gusau LGA intercepted nine suspected bandits and recovered 600 cows and 300 sheep. After due interrogation, the bandits confessed to have rustled the animals and were proceeding to Zaria, to avert possible arrest by the troops,” he said.
Onyeuko said that the recovered animals were currently in the custody of troops. He stated that proper handover would be done after investigation, in conjunction with local authorities to confirm the owners.
Onyeuko further disclosed that the military troops, in conjunction with other security agencies conducted an assault operation at Gabyer village in Bugundu LGA of the state on March 28 and chased a number of armed bandits.
According to him, the bandits withdrew in disarray into the forest after a fire-fight, adding that exploitation was carried out by the land component, after an aggressor aircraft had engaged the fleeing bandits. He noted that the country’s Armed Forces would not relent in its resolve to restore peace, law and order in the nation.