The Defence Headquarters has said that criminals operating in the North-West have been disorganized and on the run due to superior fire power of the joint security operation in the area.
Acting Director of Defence Information, John Agim, stated this while briefing newsmen in Gasau on Tuesday.
He said that several enclaves of the bandits were being destroyed by constant air strikes, which had led to the death of some of the criminals and arrest of some as well as rescue of some victims.
Mr Agim said that Operation Sharan Daji launched in Zamfara, had been expanded to cover the entire state and local government areas in neighbouring Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Kaduna states.
He also stated that under the trans-border joint security patrol with the Niger Republic, bandits were followed into the neighbouring country and either neutralized or arrested to help in investigation.
“Although we lost one of our soldiers during encounter with the bandits in Zamfara recently where six others were wounded and receiving treatment, we have neutralized over 20 of the bandits and arrested 21 others.”
The defence spokesman also said that 1,444 cows, 473 sheep, 11 camels, 14 donkeys, 56 rams and 293 goats were recovered from the bandits and handed to the state government to return to the rightful owners.
Similarly, he said that 24 AK 47 rifles, two pump action guns, 4,798 rounds of 7.6 mm ammunition, local bullet prove jackets, bows and arrows and local charms were also recovered while two kidnapped persons were rescued.
Mr Agim urged members of the public to continue to give credible information to security agencies on suspected persons or movements.