By Francis Sardauna
In furtherance of the military offensive to end the nefarious activities of bandits in the North-west, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have arrested 150 suspected bandits and neutralized many others in Zamfara and Katsina States.
The suspected bandits, according to the Nigerian Army, were nabbed at an illegal mining site along Gadan Zaima-Zuru road in Bukuyyum Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The troops, acting on credible intelligence, also apprehended one Isuhu Ibrahim, a wanted notorious bandit who have been terrorizing Wagini and other neighbouring villages of Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The acting Director, Defence Media and Operations, Brig. General Benard Onyeuko, stated this Tuesday when he briefed journalists at the Special Army Super Camp IV in Faskari LGA of the state.
He said the troops acting on intelligence raided the illegal mining site and recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane guns and killed one of the bandits who tried to escape.
The defence spokesman added that preliminary investigation revealed that aside sabotaging the country’s economy, banditry is being financed through illegal mining activities.
He said: “In continuation of their mandate, on 23 August, 2020, troops conducted a well-coordinated intelligence-based operation leading to the raid of an illegal mining site located along Gadan Zaima-Zuru road in Bukuyyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State which also serves as bandits’ hideout.
“During the operation, troops arrested 150 suspects and recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane guns. One of the suspects was neutralized while trying to escape. Preliminary investigation reveals that aside sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through these illegal mining activities.”
He said the Nigerian soldiers also intercepted seven trucks conveying suspected rustled cattle along Jibia-Katsina and Gusau-Zaria roads.
Onyeuko reiterated that the arrested cattle and suspects have been handed over to the Katsina State Police Command and Zamfara State Association of Rustled Animals for investigation.
He explained that the troops deployed in Daki Takwas also intercepted a Toyota Corolla car with registration number DAL 41MT and recovered 11 brand new locally made rifles and 150 live cartridges concealed in different parts of the vehicle.
According to him, “Preliminary investigation reveals that the dangerous cargo was heading to Kofar Dinya in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State. A total of 5 men were arrested in connection to the illegal firearms.”