No fewer than 16 suspected bandits and Nigerian Army officers were reported to have been killed during separate clashes between the soldiers and the bandits in Niger State.
Aside from the deceased, atleast 66 suspected criminals including kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, gunrunners, bandit collaborators, and informants were arrested from the state by the personnel of the Nigerian Army Four Special Forces Command and were currently under detention.
The statistics were announced on Wednesday by the Commander, Major General, Gadzama Ali, at the command’s headquarters at Doma Local Government Area in Nasarawa state, during a parade of the suspects.
Ali, who spoke extensively on the efforts made by the troop under Operation Nut Cracker II in Niger, regretted that seven personnel were killed and that nine bandits were neutralised.
He added that among the suspects under detention, 41 of them are members of the late Benue militia leader, Terwase alias Gana, which also included his Chief Priest, Ugba Iorlumun.
Ali stated that they were further apprehended after receiving credible information from members of the public that aided arrest and killing of some gun runners during the operations.
“We have operated in Borno, Yobe, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger amongst other places. In Benue, we have arrested the Chief Priest of the late Criminal Terwase alias Gana, one of his men called ‘ Commander’s among others, and razed the Shrine. While another criminal, Paul Duguma died in Katsina-Ala.
“In Niger State, Special Forces with 31 Artillery and the Nigerian Airforce, we neutralized kidnappers, destroyed the dens of Alhaji Damina, while the kidnappers killed each other due to rivalry between the camps of Alhaji Kawuwajo and Zagalo in Kamfanin Wayo, a boundary Village between Niger and Kaduna State”.
While reiterated the resolve of the command to ensure safety, the Commander said: “I want to assure you that we will continue to do our best to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens of this great nation.
“I urge all law-abiding citizens not to be intimidated by these criminals in providing actionable intelligence that will help the command to rid these troubled areas of bandits, terrorists, and their collaborators”.