- As troops eliminate 151 terrorists, arrest 456 others; rescue 76 hostages in two weeks
Indication has emerged from the Defence Headquarters that illegal mining activities in the Northern part of the country are majorly the cause of the incessant terrorist operations in Nigeria.
Director Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba made the revelation on Thursday during a press briefing with Journalists at the New Conference Room of the Defence Headquarters.
According to him, the so-called terrorists are foot soldiers carrying out the illegal mining activities from different mining pits on behalf of their sponsors who live in major cities and towns as normal citizens to dispose the proceeds.
Gen Buba said, “Interestingly, the perpetrators of the terrorist and insurgency activities are using it as a guise for their personal gain through illegal mining and other unlawful activities. For instances, the foot soldiers carryout the illegal mining from mining pits, while their sponsors are in the cities and town, moving around as normal citizens to dispose the proceeds.
“The situation underscores the importance of ongoing military operations which is critical to the nations effort to achieving peace and security. The military is up to the challenge and more than ever before, the outcome is not in doubt.”
Earlier, Gen Buba disclosed that troops of the Nigerian armed forces have within the last two weeks record tremendous success in the fight against terrorism in the country as no fewer than 151 terrorists were eliminated.
Also, 76 kidnapped hostages were rescued while 456 terrorists were arrested by the troops within the same period.
While giving the breakdown, Gen Buba said a joint task force of Operation Hadin Kai in the Northeast eliminated 44 terrorists, arrested 21 others and rescued 4 kidnapped hostages in Jere, MMC, Biu, Konduga, Askira Uba and Gwoza LGAs of Borno State.
“Operation Hadin Kai recovered; 17 AK47 rifles, 3 locally fabricated rifles, 3 locally made guns, one berreta pistol, 3 dane guns, 116 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 5 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 13 rounds of 9mm ammo, 20 rounds of 7.62 mm x 54 ammo and 42 empty cases of 7.62 mm x 54 ammo, 12 magazines, 50 jerrycans of PMS, 3 vehicles, 5 mobile phone, 6 motorcycles, 3 cutlasses and the sum of N3,186,000.00. Troops also neutralized 44 terrorists, arrested 21 and rescued 4 kidnapped hostages,” Gen Buba.
In similar operations at the North Central, troops of Operation Safe Haven while conducting offensive operations and raids in terrorists hideouts in Barkin Ladi, Jos East, and Jos South LGAs of Plateau State, eliminated 16 terrorists, arrested 16 others and rescued one kidnapped hostage.
“Overall, troops of Operation Safe Haven neutralized 16 terrorists, arrested 16 and rescued one kidnapped hostage. Troop also recovered 12 AK47 rifles, 2 pistols, 5 locally fabricated rifles, 6 dane guns, 32 rounds of 7.62mm special, 15 magazines and 3 motorcycles,” Gen Buba said.
More so, he stated that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on 6th September 2023 conducted a fighting patrol and arrested suspected terrorists in Guma LGA of Benue State.
According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects belong to a syndicate that have been terrorizing the environment.
He said, “troops of Operation Whirl Stroke neutralized 15 terrorists, arrested 6 terrorists and rescued one kidnapped hostage. Troops also recovered 7 AK47 rifles, 4 pistols, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special and 3 empty magazines.”
Meanwhile, in the North West, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji eliminated 18 terrorists during operations at Faskari LGA of Katsina State and Bukuyyum LGA of Zamfara State.
“Overall, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized 18 terrorists, arrested 5 terrorists and rescued 10 kidnapped hostages,“ Gen Buba said.
He further noted that troops of Operation Whirl Punch during operations in Igabi and Chikun LGAs of Kaduna State, killed 17 terrorists. He added that troops’ offensive actions resulted in the arrest of suspected terrorists collaborators in Mokwa LGA of Niger State.
“Overall, troops of Operation Whirl Punch eliminated 17 terrorists, arrested 3 suspected terrorists and rescued 7 kidnapped hostages. Troops also recovered 34 assorted weapons, 399 IED detonator primers, one vehicle and 2 motorcycles,” Gen Buba added.
The Director Defence Media Operations assured citizens that the armed forces are ever ready to confront and defeat terrorists operating within the country.
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