The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Nigeria Army, Major Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, on Friday said no fewer than 35 armed bandits have been killed in the last two months in the North West.
Oyebade, who disclosed this at a news briefing in Kaduna, said 38 of the bandits had been arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police for prosecution.
According to him, 6, 009 animals were recovered during the operation code named `Sharan Daji’, while 49 bandits’ camps were destroyed.
The GOC explained that the operation was targeted at cattle rustlers and armed bandits terrorising communities in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna, as well as Niger States.
“In Niger, the 31 Artillery Brigade which covers the axis are deployed as a blocking force to intercept escaping cattle rustlers and bandits while also conducting fighting patrol around Pandogari-Kusherki, Gidigori and Pandogari-Mai Kujeri roads which serves as escape routes for the bandits.
“In Kaduna state, 465 recovered animals, 16 bandits arrested, nine bandits killed, seven weapons recovered and eight camps destroyed.
“In Zamfara state, 1,443 animals were recovered, 19 bandits arrested, 13 bandits killed, eight weapons recovered and 20 camps destroyed.
“In Katsina/Kano States, 4, 101 animals recovered, four bandits arrested, 13 bandits killed, 21 assorted guns, including three AK 47 Rifles, local weapons and bows and arrows and 10 and 11 camps destroyed in Katsina and Kano respectively,” he said
He said during the course of the various operations, the military lost one Sgt Nansel Dangnap of 2 Battalion, while three soldiers sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The GOC said a number of terrorists fleeing from the North East were also arrested.
He warned organizations and groups in the zone to desist from any act capable of causing breakdown of law and order, stressing that “under my watch any act that threatens the rule of law will not be tolerated.”
“We will continue to work hard to ensure the security of lives and property within our area of responsibility to enhance socio-economic growth and development in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.`