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Military Says Troops Kills 7 Terrorists and Bandits, Arrest 23 As Airstrikes Destroys Criminal Facilities
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Military Says Troops Kills 7 Terrorists/Bandits, Arrest 23 As Airstrikes Destroys Criminal Facilities

The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Thursday said its troops killed seven Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT)/Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) terrorists/bandits while 23 were arrested.

Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, journalists in Abuja that out of this number, four bandits were killed and nine arrested while three kidnappers were freed from custody in the Northwest region.

General Enenche also said three BHT/ISWAP terrorists were killed by ground troops of the Nigerian Army while Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships executed bomb and rocket runs on targeted terrorists’ enclaves at various locations in the North East zone, killing “several” of them and destroying their facilities.

Enenche, who reviewed military and other security agencies operations in the country in the last one week covering 12 to 18 November 2020, said that in the Northwest region, “on 15 November 2020, troops of Operation ACCORD while on night patrol at Yar Tasha village made contact with armed bandits and engaged them in firefight. During the encounter, 3 armed bandits were neutralized while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds. Three AK 47 rifles were recovered during the operation. Same day, troops deployed at Ungwan Doka, rescued one kidnapped victim named Adamu Yahaya. Preliminary investigation revealed that the victim was kidnapped at Unguwar Sa’ida village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State. The victim has been reunited with his family.

“In a related development, within the period in focus, following credible intelligence on the presence of kidnappers in Garin Arawa of Tangaza Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Troops immediately mobilized to the village and made contact with kidnappers. In the course of the encounter, one kidnapper was killed in contact while others escaped with gunshot wounds. Items recovered include; one AK47 rifle, one magazine and one motorcycle. Equally, troops deployed at Jibia arrested 2 suspected kidnappers named Malam Ismail Isah and Malam Sale Samaila at Tsembe Kolumbo village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State. Suspects are currently in custody for further investigation. Similarly, one suspected bandit named Bello Ardo from Yargoje town in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State was arrested on 16 November 2020. He is currently in custody undergoing investigation.

“Earlier, on 14 November 2020, based on actionable intelligence that suspected bandits invaded Kura village in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State, troops of Forward Operating Base Kwatarkwashi swiftly mobilized to the area and made contact with them. After exchange of fire, the bandits escaped into the bush in disarray and abandoned 2 kidnapped victims named Hajiya Sakina and Zahru who were rescued by troops. Relatedly, 3 suspected bandits named Abdulmumini Maidoka, Lawal Abdullahi and Sanusi Abdullahi Ja’e were arrested by troops at Majafa village. Same day, based on credible information that a suspected bandit was sighted at Kukar Samu village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, troops moblised to the scene and arrested 2 suspected bandits’ collaborators named Nura Ibrahim and Abdullahi Yusuf while trying to escape with motorcycle belonging to bandits who fled on sighting troops. One Sabe Iliya from Muniya village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State was also apprehended while pretending to be a farmer but was identified by locals as bandit’s informant.

“For air operations, Air Component of Operation THUNDER STRIKE neutralized several armed bandits in the Kwiambana Forest area of Kaduna State. The operation, which took place on 12 November 2020, was executed sequel to reports that close to a hundred bandits carrying high calibre weapons, mounted on motorcycles rustled a large number of cattle and other livestock from Dankolo and Machitta Villages. The bandits and the rustled livestock were subsequently spotted by a Nigerian Air Force aircraft on reconnaissance mission at Kaboru village heading towards Kwiambana Forest. The Air Component therefore dispatched a NAF attack helicopter to the location which engaged the target area, leading to the neutralization of several of the bandits.”

In the Northeast region, the Defence Spokesperson noted that “within the period, troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE under its subsidiary Operation FIRE BALL, while on fighting patrol, came in contact with Boko Haram elements at Ladantar general area in Borno State. During the encounter, the gallant troops with overwhelming firepower cleared the terrorists’ hideout and neutralized 2 of their fighters, while others fled in disarray. In the process, an IED maker was captured alongside some IED making equipment as well as arms and ammunition. In another development, troops successfully repelled terrorists’ attack on own troops’ location at Gwoza Town in Borno State, where one of their fighters was neutralized. Similarly, on 12 November 2020, troops successfully foiled terrorists’ attack on own location with superior firepower, also in Gwoza Town, forcing them to escape with various gunshot wounds. Arms and ammunition were captured.

“In the same vein, the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have continued with successful operations. With the use of appropriate force packages of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the Air Task Force executed successive bomb and rocket runs, on targeted terrorists’ enclaves at various locations in the North East zone. Some of these were executed at Njimia and Dure village areas in the Sambisa Forest of Borno State on 12 November 2020. During the air strikes, terrorists’ hideouts were knocked out and some of their fighters were neutralized. Equally, on 14 November 2020, the Air Task Force inflicted heavy casualties on some BHT elements at Goba village and Sambisa, South of Borno State, where several terrorists were spotted. Multiple air strikes were executed on the locations and the devastating hits from the air strikes led to the killing of scores of the terrorists. Several of the terrorists’ logistics facilities were destroyed by the devastating hits from the air strikes, while many of their fighters fled in disarray.”

General Enenche also said that in the North Central zone, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN and WHIRL STROKE conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts successfully and “on 13 November 2020, troops in conjunction with Nigeria Police personnel, raided some suspected criminal hideouts in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. The successful operation led to the arrest of 9 members of a robbery syndicate responsible for terrorizing the inhabitants of the Mangu- Panyam general area. This was followed by another raid on a suspected kidnappers/armed robbers’ hideout at Daron Gyel community in Jos South Local Government Area on 14 November 2020. Troops stormed the location and apprehended 3 suspects Titus Eliashe, Bahal Manjul and Choji Elisha.

“Additionally, on 16 November 2020, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, conducted a dawn raid at a suspected militias hideout around Kwaghaondo village in Chachanji council ward of Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State. The raid was conducted following actionable intelligence on the possible regrouping of some criminal elements in the general area. The successful dawn raid led to the arrest of one suspect identified as Barnabas Tortsea. He is currently undergoing preliminary investigation after which he will be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action. Similarly, acting on credible intelligence report on the whereabout of criminal elements in parts of Tongov council ward of Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE conducted another dawn raid on the suspected criminals’ hideouts. Troops engaged the criminals with superior firepower, forcing them to flee into the surrounding bushes with fatal injuries. Following a careful search of the hideout, troops recovered one locally made Sub-Machine Gun and one locally made pistol.

“Furthermore, on 16 November 2020, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE, responded swiftly to distress calls from locals at Mzu village in Saghev council ward of Guma Local Government Area on the killing of one Mnguga by some hoodlums in the area. Troops mobilized to the scene and pursued the fleeing assailants. Troops successfully apprehended one John Aho and Tericaa Ayiutsa in the process. Following preliminary interrogation, the suspects led the troops to a shallow grave where they exhumed the remains of the victim. The two suspects are currently undergoing further interrogation after which they will be handed over to the police for prosecution.”

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