No fewer than eight bandits have been killed and 17 other collaborators arrested by troops of Operation HARBIN KUNAMA III under the 8 Division Nigerian Army, Sokoto.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Division, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, told the newsmen in Sokoto on Saturday that those apprehended were bandits’ informants and logistics suppliers.
Otiki said five bandits’ camps and 25 motorcycles were destroyed in the operation.
He commended members of the various vigilante groups and local hunters for their support to troops operating in their villages and communities.
Otiki explained that the operation which was flagged off on April 1, 2019 in Zamfara, involved military activities in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
According to him, the exercise has instilled confidence in the locals to remain in their villages and continue with their normal lives as well as facilitated the return of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes.
He added that troops and logistics were deployed from various divisions of the Nigerian Army to checkmate bandits activities and those fleeing from Zamfara into neighbouring states.
He said the efforts of the Nigerian Army and their Niger Republic counterparts as well as other security agencies in the country, especially in the areas of joint border patrols and the dynamics of the operation, has been yielding positive impacts.
According to him, the collaboration had culminated into several encounters and defeat of bandits in Isa, Rabah and Burkusuma general area around Sububu Forest in Sokoto State.
“In Katsina State, troops operating super camp in Batsari, Safana and Kankara also made contact with bandit gangs and denied them freedom of action in Dumburum Forest.
“In Kebbi State troops deployed in super camp in Bena, Jega and Danko Wasagu also encountered and defeated bandits in Gando Forest,” Otiki said.
He further explained that the military operations have facilitated the return of refugees and IDPs to their homes and created enabling environment for farming activities in villages.
The GOC added that within the short period of the operation, eight AK 47 Rifles, two G3 Rifles, two GPMGs, three Dane Guns, nine AK 47 Magazine and 48 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were apprehended from the bandits.
Otiki added that the 8 Division was also effectively collaborating with troops of Operation Hadarin Daji as a blocking force against fleeing bandits from Zamfara.
He noted that improved synergy with other security agencies and greater understanding enjoyed from traditional institutions and state authorities had facilitated enhanced security of the civil populace in the affected areas.