Defence & Security

Troops neutralise 14 terrorists, arrest 15 others

By Paul Michael, Abuja

• • Recover stolen crude, AGO

Troops of the Armed Forces in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force operating in Borno State, have killed no fewer than 14 terrorists and arrested 15 others.

This was disclosed by the Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Benard Onyeuko, during a press briefing on the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Police and other security agencies on Thursday at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

During the briefing, which covers operations of the Forces from 19 May – 2 June 2022, Onyeuko stated that troops of Operation Hadin Kai repelled attacks by terrorists at Firm Base Arege in Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State.

He added that during the attacks, troops responded with superior firepower and inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists while others fled in disarray.

“Troops also neutralized 14 terrorists and arrested 15. Accordingly, all arrested terrorists, rescued families and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action,” he started.

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According to him, “troops recovered 10 AK 47 rifles, 5 AK 56 rifles, 2 FN rifles, 227 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 7 AK 47 magazines, 1 PKM gun. 1 AA gun, 164 rounds of AA ammunition, 111 Shilka ammunition, 1 gun truck, 1 shilka barrel, 2 Dane guns, 2 Improvised Explosive Device, 1 car engine, 4 trollies and one water pump machine. Troops also rescued 100 terrorist family members which included 33 women.”

Onyeuko also said that the troops on fighting patrol along Ashigashiya, Kodele, and Apagaluwa in the Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State had earlier encountered terrorist herders who engaged troops in a fierce gun battle. Adding that the terrorists fled due to troops’ superior fire power while troops recovered 40 sheep during exploitation.

The Major General also said troops of Operation Hadarin Daji sustained aggressive and clearance operations to deny terrorist and other criminal elements further freedom of action.

He said following credible information about terrorists heading towards Dampo village in Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara State, troops mobilized and laid in wait at the bandit crossing point on 22 May 2022.

He said this led to a gun battle between the bandits and troops, making the bandits flee in disarray due to the superior firepower of the troops.

According to him, 292 cattle and 1 camel were recovered following the bombardment.

“Also, on 21 May 2022, following credible intelligence report, troops arrested a notorious foreigner Jabe Buba a terrorist informant at Garuwa village in Tambuwa Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Pictures and video of him posting rifles in the forest were found in his phone and cash of One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira (N130,000.00) was recovered from him,” he added.

Onyeuko added: “Troops recovered 9 AK 47 rifles, 100 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 458 rustled cattle and 20 motorcycles. Troops also rescued 152 civilians, neutralized 18 bandits and apprehended 25 bandits. Accordingly, all arrested, rescued civilians and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.”

More so, the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke reportedly conducted several operations within the period under review.

The Media Director stated further: “On 24 May, troops responded to a distress call on kidnapping incident along Zakibia-Ugba Road. Own troops made contact with the criminals. After a gun battle, the leader of the group, one Mr Odada and 2 other members of the kidnappers who were all dressed in military uniforms were neutralized.

“The victim, one Mr Chimaobi Omemma, a businessman was rescued. Items recovered include 1 AK 47 rifle, 3 fully loaded magazines (90 rounds of 7.62mm special), 1 Toyota Corolla vehicle and an ATM card bearing Felix Terzenqwe. All recovered items are still in custody.”

He further stated that on 29 May 2022, a distress call was received of a group of bandits terrorizing locals at Bowa in Doma Local Government Area of Nassarawa State.

“After a hot pursuit, one Mr Adamu Akure was captured at Ijiwo junction in Rukubu. Items recovered include 1 locally made pistol and several cartridges amongst others. The arrested criminal is presently under interrogation. Also, a notorious gun runner, Mr Morris Ayitu was arrested after a raid at his residence in Abirisi in Guma Local Government Area. Also arrested are his wife and an accomplice, Mr Julius Aseni,” he added.

Also, troops of Operation Octopus Grid, a subsidiary of Operation Delta Safe, operating in the creeks of the Niger Delta, discovered and destroyed 40 illegal refineries, 165 metal storage tanks, 72 ovens, 23 dug out pits, and 5 wooden boats.

“Also, recovered are One Hundred and Seven Thousand Four Hundred (107,400) litres of crude oil, Four Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty (456,450) litres of AGO, Six Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty (6,250) litres of PMS, 6 trucks, 3 outbound engines, and 1 AK 47 rifles. Troops also apprehended 21 criminal elements. All recovered items and apprehended criminals were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action,” Gen Onyeuko concluded.

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