By Augustine Osayande
▪︎17 bandits, 1officer, 2 gallant soldiers killed in encounter
▪︎4 other soldiers were wounded in action
Troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY with the support of Air Task Force have captured one of the notorious bandits’ strongholds, known as Dangote Camp, located deep in the forest in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Confirming the report, Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, said initial resistance by the bandits was effectively subdued by the superior tactics and dexterity of the troops which resulted in inflicting heavy damage on the bandits.
Onyeuko said 17 bandits were neutralized while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as evident by the trails of blood along their escape routes.
He said 5 AK 47 rifles, 3 dane guns, 2 AK 47 rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and 7 motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.
Onyeuko said one brave officer and 2 gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 other soldiers were wounded in action.
He further stated that the wounded in action soldiers were currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility.
Onyeuko also disclosed that troops, conducting fighting patrol along Faskari – Sheme – Dandume Road in Katsina State, arrested 5 suspected bandits including one female.
He said one of the suspects, Bashir Usman who claimed to be a policeman during interrogation but could not validate his claim with any form of identification, was apprehended with one AK 47 rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition while riding on a motorcycle.
Onyeuko said items recovered from them also included one handset and the sum of N6, 050. 00.
He said the suspects were presently undergoing preliminary interrogation.
Onyeuko said troops following a tip-off that bandits invaded Kuka Uku Village in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State and kidnapped a 16-year old Miss Hadiza Sani, promptly mobilized to the area and made contact with the bandits who abandoned the victim and fled due to the troops aggressive pursuit.
He said the rescued victim had since been reunited with her family.
Meanwhile troops deployed in Forward Operation Base, Bagega, rescued another kidnapped victim, a 10-year old girl, following the alarm by her mother that two bandits on motorcycle kidnapped the victim while they were fetching firewood around Bagega – Tudurki Forest.
Onyeuko said the rescued had been united with her family.
He said the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience.
Onyeuko urged them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes so far achieved.
He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of life and property within the zone.