Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau
Troops of Operation Sharan Daji (OPSD) fighting banditry have killed 58 suspected bandits and rescued 75 victims in Zamfara State.
A statement by the acting force information officer, OPSD, Major Clement Abiade, said the troops, in their clearance operations into bandit enclaves in Zamfara and Katsina states on January 20, came into contact with a large gang of bandits armed with sophisticated firearms and rocket-propelled grenades in Dumburum and Gando forests, leading to fierce gun battles that lasted several hours.
“The casualty figures on the bandits’ side were 58 bandits neutralised, while one was captured alive. Troops also destroyed 18 camps and rescued 75 kidnapped victims held in some of the camps,” he said.
Abiade added that the troops also suffered casualties.
“Two gallant soldiers and two members of the vigilance (group) paid the supreme price. A total of eight soldiers and six vigilantes also sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries,” he said.
The OPSD acting information officer said items recovered from the bandits included five fabricated National rifles, four AK-47 rifles, 10 locally made rifles, one locally fabricated pistol and 40 motorcycles.
“The Force Commander, OPSD, Major General Stevenson Olabanji, reaffirms the commitment of OPSD to rid Zamfara State of all forms of banditry and criminality in line with its mandate,” he said.
Abiade added that the operation was being conducted simultaneously in collaboration with all security agencies and local vigilance groups in the area to achieve synergy.
He said: “The general public is enjoined to cooperate with troops and furnish security agencies with useful and timely information about bandits’ activities within their domain.”