By Johnson Eyiangho
Troops of Operation Hadanrin Daji have neutralised five bandits and rescued three women and their children in an encounter with bandits at Diskuru village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, while giving an update on various military operations in the North-West and other parts of the country between Oct. 31 and Nov. 4.
“Regrettably, one brave soldier paid the supreme price in an attempt to save one of the rescued nursing mothers in the heat of the encounter,’’ Enenche said…
Enenche said that during the period, troops arrested two suspected bandits’ collaborators in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, another two bandits in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“Deducing from the above successes, it is clear that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies are committed in their endeavour to end banditry and other sundry crimes in the country,’’ he said.
The media coordinator assured people of the zone of the military’s commitment to safeguard their lives and property, but urged them to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information.
Giving update on the North-East, he said troops of “Operation Fire Ball, a subsidiary of Operation Lafiya Dole, neutralised 22 terrorists after they repelled insurgents’ attacks near Damboa in Borno.
Enenche explained that the feat was achieved with support from the “Air Task Force,’’ a component of the Operation Lafiya Dole.
“During the encounter, troops recovered caches of arms and ammunition as well as equipment.
“Equally, troops of Operation Fire Ball, in conjunction with local vigilante, arrested a BHT/ISWAP member identified as Mohammed Bello at Damaturu, in Yobe.
“The terrorist was arrested while trying to purchase arms and ammunition, while he was in possession of one AK-47 rifle and a magazine.
“The criminal element has been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for necessary action,’’ he said.
According to him, with the use of a force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Air Task Force conducted Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions over various locations in the North- East.
“The air surveillance missions revealed terrorists’ activities and their hideouts which enabled the Air Task Force to execute air interdictions and strikes on the identified locations.’’
He said that those strikes caused devastating hits on terrorists’ hideouts at Mudu and Garin Maloma villages in Borno, killing scores of their fighters and destruction of their structures and logistics facilities.
In the North-Central, Enenche said troops continued aggressive clearance operations to curtail activities of bandits and other criminals, leading to reduction in their activities in the zone during the period.
He said that in the period under review, heads of security agencies met with some chairmen and communities from Plateau and Kaduna states, all aimed at maintaining peace amongst the various ethnic groups in the zone.
On military operations in the South-South, Enenche said troops intercepted and arrested two wooden boats at Ibaka Forward Operation Base (FOB), Akwa Ibom.
He said the boats were laden with 326 bags of 50 kg bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from Cameroon, and handed over to the Nigerian Customs Service for further action.
He added that the FOB also intercepted and arrested one small size wooden boat laden with products suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) along Mbo River, being smuggled to the Republic of Cameroon.
He listed the items recovered as 300 drums of PMS, one pumping machine and two 40 HP Yamaha engines.
“Within the period, troops of Operation Delta Safe discovered and immobilised three illegal refineries, containing seven boilers, two reservoirs and two tanks, loaded with illegally refined oil products around Orutoru in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers.
“Additionally, troops in conjunction with local vigilante arrested five suspected cultists at Jesse Community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta.
“Similarly, troops of Operation Delta Safe while on patrol arrested a suspected armed robber with locally made pistol at Igbudu market in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.
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