Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity, the anti-banditry operation of the Nigerian Army, has rescued 26 kidnapped victims and neutralized bandits in the North-west region of the country in its determination to eradicate banditry and other nefarious activities afflicting the zone.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.General Benard Onyeuko, in a statement issued to journalists on Sunday at the Special Army Super Camp IV Faskari, Katsina State, said the captives were rescued in Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi States after intensified military operations.
He said: “On October 6, 2020, troops deployed in Forward Operation Base Magami, while responding to a distress call rescued 23 kidnapped victims from fleeing bandits who abandoned the captives as the unrelenting troops were closing in on their hideout along Zauni-Jengebe road in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were kidnapped while on transit to Magami Market from Gusau in a passenger bus. All the rescued victims were reunited with their families while efforts are intensified to track the criminal gang members.”
He added that the troops while on combined aggressive clearance operation to identified bandits’ enclaves at Dankar, Kandawa, Yau yau, Hayin Yau yau, Bugaje, Zandam, Kwari Mai Zurfi, Yar Gamji, Bukuru and Jibiyawa villages of Batsari and Jbia Local Government Areas of Katsina State, neutralised three bandits and left many others with varying degree of injuries.
According to him, the soldiers captured one AK-47 rifle loaded with 25 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and a dane gun belonging to the fleeing hoodlums during the encounter and destroyed eight bandits hideouts in the area.
Onyeuko reiterated that the anti-banditry troops acting on credible intelligence, also apprehended four suspected bandits, including their leader, Mujitafa Shehu at Kankara and Tudu villages of Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.