A file photo of troops. Source: Twitter-@HQNigerianArmy
Troops of the Nigerian military have neutralized 18 terrorists and 115 bandits in various operations in the Northeast, Northwest, and North Central regions of the country.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, disclosed this during the bi-weekly media briefing at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, where he highlighted some of the achievements of the military within the last two weeks.
He said troops of Operation Hadin Kai sustained an aggressive posture by conducting clearance operations in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist/Islam State West Africa (ISWAP) province terrorists and other criminal elements in the theatre of operations in Borno State during which significant results were recorded including the neutralization of twelve terrorists and the recovery of guns as well as ammunitions were made.
“The troops’ operational efforts yielded significant results in some locations in the northeast such as Mandara Mountain, Kwatara Hill, Fadagwe Village in Gwoza local government area, Timbuktu Triangle, Buk Village in Damboa Local Government Area, Hawul Village, and Mallam Fatori in Biu Local Government Area all in Borno State.
“Notably, own troops during a robust clearance operation engaged ISWAP terrorists at Mandara mountain in Gwoza Local Government Area and Timbuktu Triangle in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno; during the encounter, 10 terrorists were neutralized.
“Troops also recovered four aa-guns, 2,000 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, 10 bicycles, 1 unexploded improvised explosive device, one mowag apc, one truck mounted with 122 artillery gun, one machine gun, four AK 47 rifles, one 60mm mortar tube with five bombs,” General Onyeuko stated.
In a similar vein, Onyeuko revealed that the troops “had an encounter with Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists along with Debiro-Shaffa village in Hawul local government area, and there, two terrorists were neutralized and the troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, three magazines, 143 rounds of 7.62mm special, one Dane gun, one pump action rifle, and six cartridges.”
He said a total of 174 terrorists, mainly members of ISWAP, have also surrendered to the military in the last two weeks.
According to him, “the Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province have continued to surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre, a total of 174 Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa province terrorists and their families comprising of 43 adult males, 58 females and 73 children from villages around Bama and Dikwa local government area of Borno state surrendered to own troops. All surrendered terrorists and their families have been profiled.”
In the northwest, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized 96 bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kebbi states during clearance patrol, rescuing eight kidnapped victims.
Major General Onyeuko said the troops also recovered 574 rustled cattle, 22 motorcycles, three AK-47 rifles, 21 rounds of ammunition, 2 locally fabricated rifles, two pump action guns, one locally-made pistol, and five rounds of 7.62mm special, and four phones.
He further explained that “in the last two weeks’ operation whirl stroke carried out kinetic and non-kinetic operations in its theatre.
“Some of the areas in which the operations were conducted are; Akula, Alijo, Hillega, Ihuwakaa, Akirga, Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward, Tyodoo in Mayongo Council Ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, Kwanta Sule Village, Gbekyor in Guma Local Government Area, Tse Ogo Village in Ugbaam Council Ward, Tse Jundo in Mbamema Council Ward of Ukum Local Government Area and Tse Kyegh Ugondo in Logo Local Government Area All in Benue State.
“The renewed intensity by own troops in the fight against banditry and other criminal elements resulted in the destruction of many bandits’ camps. Notably on 24 February 2022, while on fighting patrol, own troops responded to a distress call from Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area about the criminal activities of Iortyom Wuave aka Janta, a notorious armed militia gang leader on operation whirl stroke wanted list.
“Our troops mobilized and moved to the location and in a subsequent gun battle, Janta was neutralized.
“Relatedly on 25 February 2022 troops raided the hideout of the notorious armed bandits at Tse Jundo in Mbamena council ward in Uukum Local Government area of Benue State. During the shootout with troops, 2 of the notorious armed bandits – Terdoo Kiorga aka Apaapa and Orkulam Mom aka Orbutee were neutralized.
“The duo has been on the wanted list of Operation Whirl Stroke and is known to have unleashed mayhem on Zaki Biam and its environs in the past.
“Furthermore, 5 AK 47 rifles, 1 pimp action rifle, 1 pistol, 1 local made gun, 3 AK 47 magazines, 127 pieces of 5.56mm rounds, 6 pieces of 9mm rounds, 4 rounds of 7.62mm, 12 cartridges, 5 cell phones, and assorted charms were recovered and handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions”.
In another development, troops on patrol and clearance operations encountered bandits in Kutunku, Baban Lamba villages in Wishishi, and Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger state.
In the encounter, seven bandits were neutralized, three AK-47 rifles, five magazines, 71 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 37 motorcycles, and 10 mobile phones were recovered.
Within the period under review, Operation Whirl Stroke has cumulatively neutralized nine bandits and recovered eight AK-47 rifles, eight magazines, 208 special ammunitions, and 15 cell phones.