By Francis Sardauna
The Nigerian Army has said its troops of Operation Sahel Sanity, deployed to ward off banditry in the North-west, have killed 10 bandits and lost one soldier during a gun duel with the hoodlums in Garin Inu and Maigora villages of Batsari and Faskari Local Government Areas of the state.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. General Benard Onyeuko, in a statement on Tuesday in Katsina, said five bandits were neutralized in Garin Inu, while five other dead bodies of the hoodlums were later discovered along their withdrawal route in Maigora after a fierce gun duel.
He said further exploitation of Garin Inu village by the troops led to the capture of three AK-47 rifles and two AK 47 Rifle magazines loaded with 18 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition.
He explained that one soldier lost his life in the course of duty, while two others sustained injuries, saying the wounded soldiers are responding to treatment in an undisclosed military health facility.
Onyeuko, in the statement, said: “On 2 January 2021, based on credible human intelligence about movement of armed bandits sighted crossing Garin Inu in Batsari LGA heading towards Bugaje in Jibiya LGA both in Katsina State, troops deployed at Batsari swiftly mobilized and laid ambush along the bandit’s route at Garin Garus.
“While at the ambush position, the gallant troops made contact with the marauding armed bandits and engaged them with overwhelming fire power thereby neutralizing 5 bandits, while others escaped with varying degrees of injuries as indicated by traces of blood along their escape routes.
“Further exploitation of the area by the gallant troops led to the capture of 3 AK-47 rifles and 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines loaded with 18 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammunition”.
He added: “In another development, on 10 January 2021, troops deployed at Sabon Layi while clearing bandits enclaves around Maigora general area in Faskari LGA of Katsina State, came in contact with armed bandits at Unguwar Rimi leading to a fierce gun battle.
“The troops were swiftly reinforced by another team from Faskari and supported by Helicopter Gunship delivering a lethal blow to the criminals thereby forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray into the forest due to troop’s superior fire power.
“During the exploitation phase of the operation, 5 bodies of neutralized bandits were found while several others were suspected to escape with gunshot wounds as indicated by blood stains on their escape route.”