Troops of the Operation Sahel Sanity have killed no fewer than three suspected bandits and destroyed 12 bandits’ camps at Yobe Baranda in the Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Nigerian Army, Brigadier Benard Onyeuko, who made the disclosure on Monday in a statement made available to journalists in Katsina, said the troops killed the bandits on August 12, 2020, during a combined special operation.
He said the troops similarly arrested three Nigeriens alleged to be members of an illegal arms smuggling syndicate, who specialised in massive supply of arms to bandits in the North-West region through the international borders.
Onyeuko gave their names as Alhaji Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani, adding that they were intercepted by the troops at Dantudu in the Mailailai District of the Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State on August 15, 2020.
According to him, weapons recovered from them included six AK-47 rifles, three AK-47 rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition deceptively concealed in various parts of their vehicle.
Onyeuko said Alhassan, suspected to be diabetic and hypertensive, experienced seizure and died while being rushed to the hospital, adding that investigation was still in progress on the case.
He added, “In what can be described as an unprecedented stride, gallant troops of the Operation Sahel Sanity deployed in the Forward Operation Base, Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State, on August 15, 2020, after a painstaking undercover operation, successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate, who specialised in massive arms supply to bandits in the North-West from across the international borders.”
Troops arrest bandit informants in Zamfara
Onyeuko said the troops also recently arrested no fewer than six suspected bandits and four of their informants in various places of operation.
He added, “On August 12, 2020, troops of the Forward Operation Base, Wanke, arrested a suspected bandit, Shehu Abdullahi, while spying on traders’ activities in the market with the intent of organising their kidnap.
“Similarly, on the same day, troops on patrol arrested another bandits’ informant, Umar Salisu, in Magami. Furthermore, following the receipt of credible intelligence that some bandits were sighted at the Danjibga Market, troops mobilised to the area and successfully arrested five suspected bandits namely: Abubakar Ahmadu, Mohammed Bashir Tukur, Adamu Tahiyawo, Ibrahim Alhaji Haruna and Mohammed Yusuf.
“Also, on August 14, 2020, troops deployed in the Forward Operation Base, Kwantaragi, arrested a bandit informant, Tukur Halilu, at Mutukuda village in the Maru LGA of Zamfara State. Items recovered from him include two empty AK-47 rifle magazines, one magazine carrier and a broken solar panel. Also, on the same day, troops at the Forward Operation Base, Anka, arrested two bandits’ informants, Mohammed Bashir and Najibu Dalha, in Wuya village of the Anka LGA of Zamfara State.
“All the arrested suspects are currently in custody and undergoing preliminary investigation before they will be sent to the appropriate prosecuting authorities.”