At least, eight bandits have been killed and 17 other collaborators arrested by troops of Operation HARBIN KUNAMA III under the eighth division of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto State.
The General Officer Commanding the Division, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, told the newsmen in Sokoto on Saturday that those arrested were bandits’ informants and logistics suppliers.
This is as the 55th Sumit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, opened by President Muhammadu Buhari is ongoing at the Presidential Villa in Abuja
Confirming the reports, Otiki said five bandits’ camps and 25 motorcycles were destroyed in the operation.
He commended members of the various vigilance groups and local hunters for their support to troops operating in their villages and communities.
Otiki explained that the operation which was flagged off on April 1, 2019, in Zamfara State, involved military activities in Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States.
He noted that the exercise has given the locales rest of mind; to remain in their villages and continue with their normal lives as well as facilitated the return of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons to their homes.
He added that troops and logistics were deployed from various divisions of the Nigerian Army to checkmate bandits activities.
According to Otiki, efforts of the Nigerian Army and their Niger Republic counterparts as well as other security agencies in the country, especially in the areas of joint border patrols and the dynamics of the operation, has been yielding positive impacts.
He said the collaboration had brought about several encounters and defeat of bandits in Isa, Rabah and Burkusuma general area around Sububu Forest in Sokoto State.
His words: “In Katsina State, troops operating super camp in Batsari, Safana and Kankara also made contact with bandit gangs and denied them freedom of action in Dumburum Forest.
“In Kebbi State troops deployed in super camp in Bena, Jega and Danko Wasagu also encountered and defeated bandits in Gando Forest,” Otiki said.
The GOC disclosed that within the short period of the operation, eight AK 47 Rifles, two G3 Rifles, two GPMGs, three Dane Guns, nine AK 47 Magazine and 48 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were recovered from the bandits.
He noted that improved synergy with other security agencies and greater understanding enjoyed from traditional institutions and state authorities had facilitated enhanced security of the civil populace in the affected areas.