- Bandits shoot at Police helicopter, injure pilots
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Police High Command said Wednesday that special operatives backed by special forces and the police air wing stormed the largest operational camps of the Ansaru terrorist group which also housed other bandits and kidnappers located in Kuduru Forest, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, killing 250 members of the group.
A statement issued last night said the operation was carried out by a combined forces of the Police following actionable intelligence at their disposal.
“The operation which commenced in the early hours of today, 5th February, 2020, was carried out by a combined team of operatives of Operation Puff Adder made up of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Forces, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS) and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“The operation was necessitated by actionable intelligence linking terror and criminal elements in the super camp to series of terror-related violence, kidnappings, gun-running, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes across the country” it said.
The statement issued by Force PRO, Frank Mba, said the Police helicopter providing aerial support for the operatives came under attack from the bandits, who deployed anti-air craft rifles.
“Unfortunately, during the operation, a police bell helicopter, which provided aerial and intelligence cover for the ground troops came under attack from the bandits using sophisticated anti-aircraft rifles and General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
“Commendably, the pilot and the co-pilot who demonstrated uncommon courage and expertise, successfully landed the aircraft at the Air Force Base, Kaduna without further incident. They were thereafter evacuated for medical treatment”, he said, while noting that “both officers who sustained non-life threatening injuries are currently receiving treatment and are in stable condition. The Police helicopter has since been flown out of the Kaduna Air Force Base by Police Pilots en-route to Abuja”.
The statement said the Inspector General of Police assured citizens of safety and sustained intelligence-led operations against bandits across the length and breadth of the nation.
“He has equally applauded the unparalleled bravery, commitment and dedication of the Police operatives currently conducting the special mission”, it said.