Military Denies Killing of 15 Soldiers By Bandits in Katsina

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Troops kill eight Boko Haram commanders

By Francis Sardauna

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has denied reports that no fewer than 15 soldiers and officers were at the weekend killed and 28 others wounded in an ambush by suspected bandits in Katsina State.

DHQ claimed that only one brave officer and two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while four other soldiers were wounded in action.

This is coming as military said its troops in Operation Lafiya Dole killed no fewer than eight top Boko Haram commanders while attempting to infiltrate Army Super Camp in Damask.

It was alleged that the troops from Special Army Super Camp 4 were advancing on foot in Shimfida in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State at about 8 p.m. on Saturday when the armed militants opened fire on them from a hilltop, military sources said.

The officers killed in the attack included a major, a captain and a lieutenant, military sources said.

However, in a statement issued by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), DHQ, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, the military said only one officer and two soldiers paid the supreme price in the Katsina ambush.

“In line with their noble mission to rid the North-West zone of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, Kidnappers and other sundry criminals, on 18 July 2020 gallant troops of Combat Team 1, Operation Sahel Sanity with the support of Air Task Force advanced and captured one of the notorious armed bandits strongholds located deep in the forest in Jibia LGA of Katsina State known as Dangote Camp. Initial resistance by the bandits was effectively subdued by the superior tactics and dexterity of the troops which resulted in inflicting heavy casualty on the bandits. At the end of the encounter, 17 bandits were neutralized while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as evident by the trails of blood along their escape routes. Equally, five AK 47 Rifles, three Dane guns, two AK 47 Rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and seven motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.

“Regrettably, one brave officer and two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 other soldiers were wounded in action. However, the wounded in action soldiers are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility,” the statement explained.

The statement added that troops conducting fighting patrol along Faskari – Sheme – Dandume Road in Katsina State, on Saturday arrested five suspected bandits, including one female.

According to the statement, one of the suspects, Bashir Usman who claimed to be a policeman during interrogation but could not validate his claim with any form of identification, was apprehended with one AK 47 Rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition while riding on a motorcycle.

Other items recovered from him include one handset and the sum N6,050. 00 only.

The DHQ also disclosed that the troops following a tip off that bandits invaded Kuka Uku Village in Batsari LGA, Katsina State and kidnapped a 16-year-old Miss Hadiza Sani, promptly mobilised to the area and made contact with the bandits who abandoned the victim and fled due to the troops aggressive pursuit.

The rescued victim has since been reunited with her family.

Meanwhile, the military has said its troops attached Operation Lafiya Dole have killed no fewer than eight top Boko Haram commanders while attempting to infiltrate Army Super Camp in Damask.

The killed terrorists were identified as Tumbun Dabino – Ba Issoufo, Tumbun Bororo – Amir Batam, Tumbun Jaki – Almustapha, TumbunBagaruwa – Modou Kollo, Dogon Tchoukou – Issah, Tumbun Rakke – Mustapha Woulama, Tumbun Dila – Boukar Kowa and Tumbun Mita – Abou Aisha.

Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, in a statement, disclosed the slain terrorists were buried by the insurgents at Goski village.