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By Emmanuel Daudu/Abuja-Nigeria

In line with their noble mission to rid the North-West zone of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, Kidnappers and other sundry criminals, on 18 July 2020 gallant troops of Combat Team

Operation SAHEL SANITY with the support of Air Task Force advanced and captured one of the notorious armed bandits strongholds located deep in the forest in Jibia LGA of Katsina State known as Dangote Camp. Initial resistance by the bandits was effectively subdued by the superior tactics and dexterity of the troops which resulted in inflicting heavy casualty on the bandits. At the end of the encounter, 17 bandits were neutralized while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as evident by the trails of blood along their escape routes. Equally, 5 AK 47 Rifles, 3 Dane guns, 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and 7 motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.

According to the Ag Director Defence Media Operations Defence Headquarters, Benard Onyeuko Brigadier General, 19 July 2020, said, Regrettably, one brave officer and 2 gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 other soldiers were wounded in action. However, the wounded in action soldiers are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility.

In the same vain, on 18 July 2020, troops conducting fighting patrol along Faskari – Sheme – Dandume Road in Katsina State, arrested 5 suspected bandits including one female. One of the suspects, Bashir Usman who claimed to be a policeman during interrogation could not validate his claim with any form of identification was apprehended with one AK 47 Rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition while riding on a motorcycle. Other items recovered from him include one handset and the sum of Six Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Naira (N6,050. 00) only. Suspects are presently undergoing preliminary interrogation.

Furthermore, on 17 July 2020, troops following a tip off that bandits invaded Kuka Uku Village in Batsari LGA, Katsina State and kidnapped a 16 year old Miss Hadiza Sani, promptly mobilized to the area and made contact with the bandits who abandoned the victim and fled due to the troops aggressive pursuit. The rescued victim has since been reunited with her family. Similarly, on 17 July 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Bagega rescued another kidnapped victim, a 10 year old girl, following an alarm by her mother that two bandits on motorcycle kidnapped the victim while they were fetching firewood around Bagega – Tudurki Forest. The rescued has been united with her family.

Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience. He urges them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes so far achieved. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.

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