Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Nigerian Police said weekend it arrested more members of the Ansaru terrorist group, who escaped after a fierce encounter with the police in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.
The Police last week claimed it eliminated 250 members of the terrorist group in Kuduru Forest in Birnin Gwari.
The insurgents had deployed anti-aircraft rifles and shot at a police helicopter providing aerial support for police operatives during the operation, resulting in the death of a police inspector while the pilot, co-pilot and eleven other police officers were wounded.
It said some of the nabbed insurgents attacked the Emir of Potiskum and killed his police escorts.
An update issued by the Police Force Headquarters said three more terrorists were arrested at the weekend bringing the number of those apprehended to eight.
“Following sustained mop-up operations by Police operatives at the operational bases of the Ansaru Terrorists’ Group in Kuduru Forest, Birnin-Gwari, three more members of the Ansaru Terror Group have been arrested.
“They are: Munkailu Liman Isah aka Babban, 32yrs; Abdullahi Saminu aka Danmunafiki, 21years, and Aminu Usman, 22yrs. This brings the number of persons arrested to eight”, it said.
The statement signed by Force PRO, CP Frank Mba, said the suspects were assisting police investigators with useful information relating to the membership spread and make-up, criminal/operational records, logistics and general modus operandi of the terror group.
“Preliminary investigation reveals that the arrested suspects were actively involved in the recent attack and attempted kidnap of the Emir of Potiskum that resulted in the gruesome killing of the emir’s police escorts.
“They were also involved in several other kidnap operations and terror attacks on commuters and other innocent citizens along some major highways, especially in the North-west and North-central states of the country”.
He said police investigation also revealed that some citizens, especially those within the business community, give tacit support to the terror groups by deliberately doing business with them through the supply of essential goods, drugs and other services.
“To this end, the IG calls for patriotism amongst the people, noting that this is the only way the fight against the criminal elements can truly be won.
“While police operatives are on the close trail of other fleeing members of the terror groups and their collaborators, the IG has expressed immense appreciation to all and sundry, especially the good people of Birnin-Gwari and environs for their understanding, cooperation and support which have resulted in the measure of successes recorded so far particularly in the fight against terrorism, banditry and other heinous crimes in the country”, it said.