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Troops Neutralises 220 Bandits, Arrests 892 Criminal Elements

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The Nigerian Army, through its troops in the Operation Sahel Operation, neutralised a total number of 220 armed bandits during its operations between July and December, 2020 in the North-Western part of the country.

This was as the army operations led to the arrest of 335 suspected bandits, 326 illegal miners, 147 bandits informants and collaborators, 14 bandits arms suppliers, 24 rustled cattle marketers and 46 bandits logistics suppliers were arrested.

A total of 642 kidnapped victims were rescued by the valiant troops, including the rescued 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, just as the troops successfully foiled 165 bandit attacks and 81 kidnap attempts.

Similarly, a total of 7,761 cows, 1,867 sheep/rams and four camels were recovered and given back to the owners by troops within the period.

The Army Headquarters made the disclosures in a release issued on Wednesday on the general update on the activities of the Operation Sahel Sanity during the period under review.

According to the release, signed by the acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, the army operation has been active be in combating the menace of armed banditry and other sundry crimes in the North-West since its commencement to date.

The Exercise Sahel Sanitu was flagged off by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, on 6 July 2020 as part of activities marking the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020, with the aim of reinforcing the existing Operation Hadarin Daki to effectively flush out bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other sundry criminals within the region.

“Since the flag off, the exercise which subsequently dovetailed into a real time operation, there is no doubt that significant improvements have been made in bringing peace and stability in the North-West region as evidenced in the massive resumption of socio-economic activities with little or no threats to lives and property.

“The gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity, within the period under review, carried out series of clearance operations, ambushes, farm and other aggressive confidence building patrols within Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states.

“These have led to the neutralisation of armed bandits, capture of large cache of arms and ammunition, destruction of bandits enclaves, arrest of bandits informants and their collaborators, recovery of rustled animals and most importantly rescue of hundreds of kidnapped victims from the clutches of the notorious bandits.

“In all the operations, conducted from 1 July to 31 December 2020, a total of 220 armed bandits were neutralised during combat with the gallant troops of Operation Sahel Sanity.

“Additionally, 73 AK 47 rifles, one GPMG and 194 dane guns were captured from the criminals. Equally, 5,032 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 568 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO ammunition and 156 live cartridges were also captured by the troops.

“Furthermore, 197 bandits’ camps and hideouts, including the notorious Dangote Triangle and several bandits’ logistics bases, were destroyed by troops of Operation Sahel Sanity.

“Also, 335 suspected bandits, 326 illegal miners, 147 bandits informants and collaborators, 14 bandits arms suppliers, 24 rustled cattle marketers and 46 bandits logistics suppliers were arrested.

“Similarly, a total of 7,761 cows, 1,867 sheep/rams and four camels were recovered and given back to the owners by troops within the period.

It is also heartwarming to note that, a total of 642 kidnapped victims were rescued by the valiant troops, and this include the rescued 344 students of Government Science Secondary School Kankara. Also within the period, the gallant troops successfully foiled 165 bandit attacks and 81 kidnap attempts,” the release stated.

The Nigerian Army Command attributed the successes achieved since the operation started to the sacrifice, commitment and gallantry exhibited by the professional soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

It also disclosed that some civil-military vooperation projects and activities were conducted to support some host communities within the operational area of Operation Sahel Sanity

These, according to the release, include distribution of palliatives to locals and renovations of medical facilities at Faskari and Kauran Namoda communities in Katsina and Zamfara states, respectively.

Others were the conduct of freeedical outreaches and distribution of palliatives to locals and flood victims at Koko-Besse and Bagudo Local Goverment Area of Kebbi State and payment of compensation to farmers whose farmlands were affected as a result of the ongoing operation and due to the expansion of the Special Army Super Camp IV Faskari in Katsina State.

“It is pertinent to note that a few setbacks were recorded as a result of engagements with bandits during the conduct of operations within the period under review.

“Such are the regrettable loss of two officers and four brave soldiers who paid the supreme price in the cause of defending the dignity of our people.

“After diligent review of the numerous successes achieved so far and the need to finally eliminate all the remnant security challenges within the region, the Chief of Army Staff, during his last visit to Special Army Super Camp IV Faskari on 21 December, 2020, extended the duration of Operation Sahel Sanity to last till March 2021 in order to consolidate on the gains so far achieved,” the release added.

During the visit, Buratai urged the troops not to rest on their oars but continue to sustain the tempo of the operation and dominate the entire region with confidence building patrols, ambushes and clearance operations until the remnant bandits and other criminal elements are completely eliminated from the region.

The Nigerian Army Command commended the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity for their sacrifices, successes and professionalism exhibited within the period of operation.

It also appreciated the people of the North-West zone for their cooperation in providing timely information leading to the success of the operations and also encouraged them to continue to avail the troops with actionable information that would aid the desired goal of the operation.

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Metro/Crime

Insecurity: Troops Kill 7 Terrorists, Destroys Gun Trucks

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Troops of Operation Tura Takaibango in conjunction with Air Task Force Operation Lafiya Dole have eliminated scores of Boko Haram terrorists and destroyed seven of their gun trucks in Matte, Borno.

The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Onyeuko said that unconfirmed number of the terrorists were killed when they attempted to attack troops location at the outskirts of Marte in Marte Local Government Area on Saturday.

He said the troops, acting on reliable information about the attack, had positioned themselves in an ambush site where they tactically ambushed the terrorists and opened fire.

According to him, this led to fierce battle that resulted in the successes against the terrorists.

“The troops are still engaged in pursuit of the fleeing terrorists for further exploitation.

“Further details of interest to members of the public will be communicated later,” he said.

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Metro/Crime

Operation Sahel Sanity: Troops Record Success In Northwest , Many Bandits Arrested

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The Nigerian Army said Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity has neutralized more bandits and arrested suspected collaborator in Katsina State.

AK-47 RIFLES, 2 MAGAZINES AND 18 ROUNDS OF 7.62 MM SPECIAL AMMUNITION RECOVERED BY TROOPS FROM ARMED BANDITS DURING ENCOUNTER AT GARIN GARUS ON 2 JANUARY 2021
AK-47 RIFLES, 2 MAGAZINES AND 18 ROUNDS OF 7.62 MM SPECIAL AMMUNITION RECOVERED BY TROOPS FROM ARMED BANDITS DURING ENCOUNTER AT GARIN GARUS ON 2 JANUARY 2021

In a press statement signed by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko on Tuesday said in furtherance directive of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai extending Operation SAHEL SANITY to March, the gallant troops have increased the momentum of the Operation.

According to him they have continued to dominate the Northwest theatre with confidence building patrols, robust and aggressive ambushes coupled with clearance operations.

This according to Onyeuko is with a view to completely wipe out the remnant bandits and other criminal elements from the region.

“Consequently, on 2 January 2021, based on credible human intelligence about movement of armed bandits sighted crossing Garin Inu in Batsari LGA heading towards Bugaje in Jibiya LGA both in Katsina State, troops deployed at Batsari swiftly mobilized and laid ambush along the bandit’s route at Garin Garus”.

SUSPECTED BANDIT INFORMANTS AUWAL ABUBAKAR AND BELLO HARUNA ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT SABUWA ON 2 JANUARY 2021
SUSPECTED BANDIT INFORMANTS AUWAL ABUBAKAR AND BELLO HARUNA ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT SABUWA ON 2 JANUARY 2021

“While at the ambush position, the gallant troops made contact with the marauding armed bandits and engaged them with overwhelming fire power thereby neutralizing 5 bandits while others escaped with varying degrees of injuries as indicated by traces of blood along their escape routes”.

Onyeuko noted that further exploitation of the area by the gallant troops led to the capture of 3 AK-47 rifles and 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines loaded with 18 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammunition.

SUSPECTED BANDIT COLLABORATOR YA'U TUKUR ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT SABON GIDA VILLAGE ON 3 JANUARY 2021
SUSPECTED BANDIT COLLABORATOR YA’U TUKUR ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT SABON GIDA VILLAGE ON 3 JANUARY 2021

“Relatedly, on 3 January 2021, troops deployed at Dan Ali village acting on reliable information from reliable sources arrested a suspected bandits’ collaborator named Ya’u Tukur at Sabon Gida village in Kankara LGA of Katsina State”.

“During preliminary investigations, suspect confessed to be working for a notorious bandit gang which has been masterminding nefarious crimes including kidnapping for ransom in various places. Troops are on the trail of other members of the notorious gang”.

Furthermore, Onyeuko said on 4 January 2021, troops deployed at Maraban Maigora acting on credible information arrested one Yahaya Aliyu while riding on a new motorcycle.

“The arrest was executed following reports from reliable sources on the suspect’s alleged involvement in kidnapping and facilitating payment of ransom for kidnap victims in the area”.

“During preliminary investigations, suspect admitted his involvement in the alleged crimes, adding that the motorcycle he was riding was part of a bounty as ransom from a kidnapped victim”.

“Additionally, on 8 January 2020, troops deployed at Yankara while acting on a tip off arrested a suspected bandit’s collaborator named Alhaji Adamu Mamman around Yankara general area in Faskari LGA of Katsina State. Suspect has been at large following his involvement of harbouring bandits in his house”.

“In another development, on 10 January 2021, troops deployed at Sabon Layi while clearing bandits enclaves around Maigora general area in Faskari LGA of Katsina State, came in contact with armed bandits at Unguwar Rimi leading to a fierce gun battle”.

SUSPECTED BANDIT COLLABORATOR YAHAYA ALIYU ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT MARARABAN MAIGORA ON 4 JANUARY 2021
SUSPECTED BANDIT COLLABORATOR YAHAYA ALIYU ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT MARARABAN MAIGORA ON 4 JANUARY 2021

“The troops were swiftly reinforced by another team from Faskari and supported by Helicopter Gunship delivering a lethal blow to the criminals thereby forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray into the forest due to troop’s superior fire power”.

He said during the exploitation phase of the operation, 5 bodies of neutralized bandits were found while several others were suspected to escape with gunshot wounds as indicated by blood stains on their escape route.

MOTORCYCLE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED BANDIT COLLABORATOR YAHAYA ALIYU AT MARARABAN MAIGORA ON 4 JANUARY 2021
MOTORCYCLE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED BANDIT COLLABORATOR YAHAYA ALIYU AT MARARABAN MAIGORA ON 4 JANUARY 2021

“Regrettably, one brave soldier paid the supreme price while 2 others sustained minor injuries during the encounter. The wounded soldiers are in stable condition and currently responding to treatment in a military medical facility”.

ARMED BANDIT NEUTRALIZED BY TROOPS DURING ENCOUNTER AT UNGUWAR RIMI IN FASKARI LGA OF KATSINA STATE ON 10 JANUARY 2021
ARMED BANDIT NEUTRALIZED BY TROOPS DURING ENCOUNTER AT UNGUWAR RIMI IN FASKARI LGA OF KATSINA STATE ON 10 JANUARY 2021

The statement further commended the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY for the successes and their unequaled commitment.

“They are further urged not to rest on their oars until the Northwest zone is rid of all criminal elements”.

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Metro/Crime

Tragedy As Gunmen Kill 3 Mobile Policemen In Delta State

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Some unidentified gunmen have snuffed life out of three police officers in Ughelli, Delta state.

According to report, the incident occured at a fast-food spot located along the East-West road on Sunday night.

The attack is coming a few days after a new Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Mr. Benjamin Igometi took over the reins of affairs of the Ughelli ‘A’ division with a charge on him to curb the rising spate of insecurity in the area.

Though the State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya was yet to confirm the incident when contacted, a source at the scene of the incident said the hoodlums took the slain policemen unawares, shot them at close range and made away with their rifles.

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