Bandits Release Two Kidnapped Customs Officers

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

Armed bandits have yesterday released two kidnapped Customs officers to troops of the 17 Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Katsina State.

The bandits had on January 8 abducted the Customs Officers at Mallammawa town in Jibia Local Government Area of the state.

The acting Commander of the brigade, Brigadier Bello Idris, while handing over the victims to officials of the Nigeria Customs Service Area Command in the state, said the bandits released the victims unconditionally.

He said the ongoing intensive Operations of HADARIN DAJI and 8 Division Nigerian Army which commenced in the past few days with attacks at several bandits hideouts, had led to the neutralisation of several armed bandits and  forced  many of their leaders to seek for peace.

Idris said: “The bandits who earlier kidnapped two customs officers on 08 January 2020 at Mallammawa town in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State have called for peace.

“The bandits after testing the might of the Nigerian military have unconditionally released the two customs officers to headquarters of 17 Brigade in the morning hours of today, 12 January 2020.

“Some armed bandit leaders who sent messages through emissaries to the acting General Officer Commanding 8 Division Nigerian Army who oversees operations in Katsina and Zamfara states, have indicated readiness to embrace peace without any conditions attached.”

He affirmed that the military would continue to remain resolute to ensure complete disarming of bandits before considering the peace deal as announced by the various state governments in the North-west.

According to him, “Troops of the operation have continued with what the commander calls ‘Mop Up Ops’ in order to clear all areas of bandit camps to ensure the release of all hostages.”

Meanwhile, the freed customs officers have been taken to the Federal Medical Centre in Katsina for treatment.

Military Kills over 100 Bandits in Zamfara, Katsina

Troops of operation Hadarin Daji have launched offensive attacks on various hideouts and camps of suspected bandits located in four local government areas of Zamfara and Katsina states.

The troops during the operation, also killed over 100 bandits, destroyed their camps and recovered assorted dangerous weapons and rescued ten kidnapped victims.

A statement by the acting Force Information Officer of Operation Hadarin Daji, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, said the kinetic operation was carried out in Anka, Maru, and Bukkuyum in Zamfara while another operation was executed in Jubia in Katsina State following the recent upsurge in activities of unrepentant bandits in both states who have refused to key into the ongoing peace initiatives of the Zamfara state government.

According to the statement, between December 16, 2019 to  January 9, 2020, the troops of Operation Haradin Daji, comprising personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies, conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralise the recalcitrant bandits from their enclaves.

The statement further stated that during the clearance operations, the troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named “Kunene,” who is responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region. In addition, troops also apprehended three suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and two notorious drug dealers – Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara State during the period