The Defence Headquarters says the military has sustained an onslaught against bandits, kidnappers and other criminals by denying them freedom of action in the North West and North Central zones of the country.
Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, Acting Director, Defence Media Operation, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the military operations across the country between June 3, and June 16, on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said that troops had continued to carry out ambushes, aggressive fighting patrols, air raids, sustained air Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance patrols as well as cordon and search operations.
He said that troops had on June 3, intercepted and neutralised some gunrunners who were in possession of assorted arms and ammunition between Naimaimai Village and Sabon Birni in Sokoto State.
He also disclosed that the Air Component conducted air raids on bandits’ enclaves at the Jibia area of Katsina State on June 6, killing scores of bandits.
“In the same vein, troops while on aggressive fighting patrol arrested some kidnappers and rescued some of their victims at Bena Market in Danko Wasagu Local Government Area of Kebbi.
“During the operation, large caches of arms and ammunition and equipment, as well as vehicles, were captured from the criminal elements.
“Troops have continued to dominate the theatre of operation with aggressive patrols and sustained air intelligence surveillance to deny bandits freedom of operation,” he said.
In the North Central, Onyeuko said the troops of Operation Safe Haven, have continued to record successes in kinetic and non-kinetic operations in Plateau.
He said the troops had on June 5, ambushed and arrested some cultists who reportedly belong to a criminal gang that attacks and robs commuters and dispossess’ them of their belongings at Terminus general area of Jos.
He said that the feat was achieved following credible intelligence.
According to him, troops on patrol on the same day arrested a notorious kidnapper, who has been on the wanted list of security agents, by the name Halilu Umaru, around Mangu Market of the state.
He said that Umaru was in possession of assorted arms and ammunition and other dangerous weapons at the time of the arrest.
The defence spokesperson said that all arrested criminals and recovered items were handed over to appropriate agencies for further necessary actions.
He further said that the troops held stakeholders’ meetings at different locations as part of the non-kinetic operation of Operation SAFE HAVEN.
He noted that the meetings were aimed at building peace, trust and confidence amongst the locals, Fulani leaders and herders to discuss measures at tackling insecurity in their area of responsibility during the period.
Onyeuko also stated that troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE had on June 3, arrested some criminal gang members at Ayiin town in Logo Local Government Area of Benue.
He said that the criminals were among others involved in kidnapping and other related criminal activities in the area.
He added that the arrested criminals and weapons recovered have been handed over to appropriate agencies for further action.