By Kingsley Omonobi
The Defence headquarters on Monday disclosed that troops fighting banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in the North Central states, at the weekend storm Hideouts of the criminal elements in Benue and Nasarawa states and during the operation, killed some bandits, arrested four others and destroyed their camps.
Making this known in a statement, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said many of the bandits escaped with gunshot wounds into the bush during the gunfight that endued.
He said, “In continuation of the aggressive kinetic operations against armed banditry, cattle rustling and other sundry crimes in the North-Central zone, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have arrested 4 armed bandits and recovered arms and ammunition during two daring raids at identified bandits’ camps.
“In one of the operations conducted on 6 September 2020, troops of Operation Whirl Sroke deployed at Guma in Benue State and Keana in Nasarawa State, conducted a dawn raid at identified armed bandits’ camp at Guma forest along the Benue-Nasarawa border following actionable intelligence reports on the location of the camp.
“Adopting an aggressive posture and profile, the gallant troops stormed the location and engaged the bandits in a firefight, overwhelming them with superior fire.
“In the process, troops neutralized one bandit while others fled with gunshot wounds into the forest.
“Troops also recovered one AK-47 rifle, one AK-47 rifle magazine, one locally made pistol and 3 mobile phones at the scene while the camp was subsequently destroyed.
“Similarly, troops of Sector 1 deployed at Gagbe in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State conducted another dawn raid on another suspected armed bandits’ hideout at Tse Agi in the general area.
“The gallant troops stormed the hideout and apprehended 4 suspects at the scene while one AK 47 rifle, 2 AK-47 rifle magazines and 46 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition were also recovered at the location.
“The hideout was subsequently destroyed while the suspects are currently being profiled after which they will be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.
“The Military High Command appreciates the general public for their cooperation in providing credible information which has so far facilitated the successes of the operations.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria assures that these offensives against the common enemies of this Nation will not cease until normalcy is restored to all the troubled zones of the country.”