The Nigerian military on Tuesday said its troops have killed 10 suspected bandits in two separate gun battles with the armed brigands in Kastina State.
A soldier was killed while two others sustained gunshot injuries during the encounter.
The operation was executed last week by troops of “Operation Sahel Sanity” sequel to intelligence reports, Benard Onyeuko, Defence spokesman said in a statement.
Mr. Onyeuko, a brigadier-general, disclosed that the troops received an intelligence report on January 2 about the movement of suspected bandits.
He noted that five bandits met their waterloo in the first ambush when they were sighted while crossing Garin-Inu in Batsari Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, adding that the suspected bandits were heading towards Bugaje in Jibiya axis of the state shortly before they were intercepted by the troops.
“Troops deployed in Batsari swiftly mobilised and laid ambush along the bandit’s route at Garin-garus,” Mr. Onyeuko said. “Five of them were neutralised while others escaped with varying degrees of injuries as indicated by traces of blood along their escape routes.”
The military authority also disclosed how a fierce gunbattle ensued between troops deployed at Sabon-Layi village when they came in contact with armed bandits along Unguwar-Rimi, while clearing bandits hideouts around Maigora area in Faskari.
“Troops were swiftly reinforced by a team from Faskari and supported by Helicopter Gunship which delivered a lethal blow on the criminals, forcing them to withdraw in disarray into the forest due to the troop’s superior fire power.”
“During the exploitation phase of the operation, five corpses of neutralised bandits were found while several others were suspected to have escaped with gunshot wounds,” Mr. Onyeuko said.
However, the military mentioned that its troops suffered some casualties leading to the death of one soldier while two others sustained injuries during the fierce gun battle with the bandits that occured on January 4.
The military noted that the two wounded soldiers are responding to treatment in a military medical facility.
Despite the upsurge of banditry activities in the North-west region, Nigerian military have continued to claim victory over the bandits who are still ravaging villages, killing dozens of innocent citizens and kidnapping for ransom that occurs almost on a daily basis across the region.
Many communities across the region, including Kastina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, have been sacked and internally displaced persons continue to throng urban areas.
The menace of insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality have over the years overwhelmed the country’s security agencies as Abuja failed to proffer a solution that would end the current insecurity challenges confronting the country.