Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have arrested four notorious armed bandits’ collaborators who have been on the security watchlist and rescued four kidnapped civilians, military officials have said.
Troops also neutralised five armed bandits, recovered seven AK-47 rifles and 275 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition including motorcycles from the bandits.
Acting Director, Media, at Defence Headquarters, Brig. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this on Thursday during a press briefing on the operational activities of the Armed Forces in Abuja.
Onyeuko named the arrested bandits as Mamuda Aliyu Dangulbi, Rilwan Sani Dangulbi, Yusuf Adamu Dangulbi, and Yakubu Umar Maihuja who were nabbed at Dangulbi village in Maru LGA of Zamfara State.
He said the arrested criminals and items recovered have been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary action.
"The Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji also sustained its offensive air operations against banditry and other criminal elements in the North West Zone, killing 40 armed bandits, several structures which served as their logistics bases were destroyed in Meshema, Yanfako, Gebe and Gatawa forests in Isaa and Sabon Birni LGAs of Sokoto State as well as Ranch 10 in the Rugu forest area at the border of Kankara.
The success of the air interdiction was confirmed by battle damage assessment carried out on these locations.
Meanwhile, on the non-kinetic activities, Onyeuko explained that Operation Safe Haven engaged youths in sporting activities at different locations of the theatre as well as held peace and security meetings in its area of responsibility.
"One of the sporting activities was a 15km Peace and Unity Marathon Competition”, which included male and female youths, drawn from diverse ethnic and religious groups to compete harmoniously among themselves," he said.
Onyeuko noted that some of the tournaments were conducted across the 4 districts of Sanga LGA of Kaduna State as well as Jos Township; Riyom, Jos North and Jos South LGAs of Plateau State.
He stressed that the exercises have to a great extent, promoted civil-military cooperation and enhanced peaceful coexistence among ethnic and religious groups in the Operation Safe Haven theatre.
"Some of the troops’ kinetic operations led to the arrest of criminal elements, recovery of arms/ammunition and livestock as well as impounding of drugs among other items.
"A total of 570 parcels and 7 wraps of cannabis sativa worth N17.1 million were impounded.
Also, a total of 11 kidnapped civilians were rescued, 41 criminal elements arrested, 11 assorted arms including AK-57 rifles, locally fabricated rifles, pistols and SMG as well as 446 assorted ammunitions and 267 livestock were recovered in the course of the operations within this period", Onyeuko said.