No fewer than 29 bandits have been killed by operatives of Operation Hadarin Daji, in an onslaught carried out by the troops in Moriki, Zamfara.
This was confirmed by the Public Relations Officer of the operation, Lt. Oni Orisun, in Gusau, the state capital, yesterday.
He said the troops moved against the bandits after they failed to embrace the 24-hour ultimatum issued by the Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Jide Ogunlade; for them to surrender and embrace peace.
“The force commander was clear and did not mince words when he said the operation will land heavily on them after the expiration of the ultimatum. The Moriki general area was professionally cordoned and offered no escape route, which led to the bandits returning fire against our operatives. That action led to two soldiers and one mobile policeman paying the supreme price with their dear lives.
“The death of the three saddened all the operatives, especially the force commander, who, however, expressed determination, confidence and ability of the operation to fully contain banditry in the state,” Orisun said.
Mallam Lawali Moriki, eye witness to part of the operation gave insight into how the bandits were routed.
“We saw a lot of movement of security men, more than usual, these past days. This was followed by heavy gunfire from all parts of the bushes in our locality and we saw many bodies of the bandits being packed in security vehicles.”
On Tuesday, the force commander warned the bandits that they would be smoked out of their hideouts if they failed to surrender.
Ogunlade had expressed disappointment in the failure of the bandits to accept the amnesty offered in May by Governor Bello Matawalle.
He noted that some of them even tried to hoodwink the state government with a fake surrender.