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