Troops of Operation Sharan Daji have killed 55 bandits and rescued 760 persons abducted from villages in Zamfara State.
This was contained in a statement signed by Acting Force Information Officer, Clement Abiade, a major, in Gusau, the state capital on Tuesday.
He said the troops also recovered weapons, ammunition and rustled cows as they blocked all entry points to the bushes to deny the bandits free movement while building confidence of the locals.
“A total of 24 suspected bandits informants, rustlers, kidnappers and logistics suppliers were arrested and handed over to the police for further investigation.
“The Air Component of the operation carried out several air strikes around Kagara, Gando, Fankama, Fete and Dumburum forest during which successes were recorded.
“Items recovered include four AK 47 rifles, one Rocket Propelled Gun Tube, 12 Dane guns, 27 AK 47 Magazines, 168 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, one Pump Action Gun, 47 Motorcycles, a Golf wagon car and 61 rustled cattle,” he said.
He added: “The troops’ sustained operation led to the return of over 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Maru to Bini village on February 17.
“The Emir of Maru, Alhaji Abubakar Chika and the Chairman of Maru Local Government Area (LGA) Alhaji Salisu Dangulbi witnessed their departure at the LGA headquarters.
“Unfortunately, this feat was not achieved without supreme sacrifice being paid by one officer, two soldiers and a vigilante who paid the supreme prize during the encounter with bandits in Kagara forest.”
He said the Force Commander, Olabanji Stevenson, a major general, sympathised with the families of those who lost their lives or got wounded assuring that their pains would not be in vain.