No fewer than five top Bandits’ Commanders have been killed by troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army operating in Zamfara in the ongoing clampdown on banditry and other heinous crimes in the North-West part of the country.
The Nigerian Army said that over 48 other bandits were also killed by troops while another notorious gang leader, simply identified as Jummo, sustained a gunshot wound.
The Director Army Public Relations Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said the onslaught against the terrorists followed the directive of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahir, to the Division to stabilise the area to facilitate the return of socio-economic activities.
Yerima, through a statement released to newsmen on Monday, listed the slain bandits to include Key bandits’ leaders including Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari and Isan Heshi, said to be a close ally of a notorious bandit called Nagala. “Isan Heshi was the second in command to Heshi before he joined Nagala following Heshi’s death in an earlier operation.”
He added that weapons and equipment recovered from the criminal include 3 AK 47 rifles, eight AK-47 rifles, one G3 rifle, one PKT and a Machine Gun among others. He noted that eighteen kidnap victims were rescued.
The Army said: “Troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army operating in Zamfara and adjoining States made tremendous progress in the ongoing fight against banditry and other violent crimes in the North West.
“The Division had earlier launched Operation Tsare Mutane following the directives of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru for the Division to stabilise the area in order to facilitate the return of socio-economic activities”.
It added: “the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Division, Maj Gen Usman Yusuf launched the first phase of Operation Tsare Mutane which lasted from 23 March to 2 April 2021 in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State. The troops successfully cleared many bandits’ camps in Jaya, Kadaya and Bayan Ruwa amongst several others.
“The troops successfully neutralised 48 bandits while the bandits leader in the area, Jummo, sustained gunshot wound to his leg. The troops rescued 18 kidnap victims from the bandits’ enclave. Moreover, eight AK-47 rifles and one G3 rifle, as well as one PKT and a Machine Gun were recovered from the Bandits.
“Meanwhile, in continuation with the second phase of Operation Tsare Mutane, troops sacked several other bandits’ camps around Gabiya, Bozaya and Mereri and the adjoining forests in Maru LGA of Zamfara State from 19 April to 3 May 2021.
“The areas which were heavily infested by bandits were successfully cleared by the highly spirited troops. Key bandits’ leaders including Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari were neutralised in the process while the main leader Nasanda narrowly escaped with fatal injuries. Equally neutralised in the operation was one Isan Heshi who is a close ally of a notorious bandit called Nagala. Isan Heshi was the second in command to Heshi before he joined Nagala following Heshi’s death in an earlier operation.
“Items recovered in the second phase of Operation Tsare Mutane include 4,600 rounds of ammunition, two AK-103 rifles, eight AK-47 magazines, 1,628 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, fifty four rounds of PKM as well as one motorcycle and five Techno mobile phones.”
General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Division, Maj Gen Usman Yusuf, however, commended GOC and troops of 8 Division, for their sustained successes and urged them to remain resolute and maintain the momentum of the onslaught against insurgency in the country.
He further assured the GOC of his continuous support in achieving the overall objective of keeping the North West and the entire country free of terrorism, banditry and other violent crimes.