By Sumaila Ogbaje
Defence Headquarters says its troops in various theatres of operations in the North West have eliminated scores of bandits and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition in two weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said this at the Defence Headquarters bi-weekly briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said a total of 706 assorted arms and ammunition recovered had been handed over to the National Centre for Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) in North West.
Onyeuko said the arms were captured from the terrorists and other criminal elements within the theatre in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi in different operations since 2018.
He said the recovered weapons comprised of 203 AK 47 rifles, 44 automated fabricated rifles, seven G3 rifles, one GPMG, three submachine guns, one light machine gun and four FN rifles.
They also included 410 dane guns, 71 locally fabricated pistols, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) empty canister and one pump action gun.
Onyeuko said the troops had in recent offensives against terrorists and other criminals, arrested a high profile Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Commander, one Abba Yunus (aka Mallam Abba) and his accomplice at Samegu community in Kano State.
He said five AK47 rifles, one AK74 rifle, two PKM squad machine gun, nine 85mm shoulder fired RPG bomb and 16 M67 fragmentation grenades were recovered.
Other recovered items, according to him are: 10 50mm mortar rounds, 200 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 18 boxes of ammunition, one RPG7 model tubes, one RPG7 and seven AK 47 magazines.
“This high profile arrest has nipped in the bud their planned mayhem in the area which will have claimed lots of lives.
“In another operation on June 13, troops received intelligence on movement of terrorists with intent to cross road Dogon Awo and Sokoto in Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“Troops engaged the bandits and neutralised scores of the bandits while others escaped with gun shot wounds, after the engagement, troops recovered 718 cattle, 10 camels and 5 motorcycles.
“In addition, the troops recovered five motorcycles, 718 sheep, 10 camels and neutralised scores of bandits.
“Accordingly, all arrest and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action,” he said.
In Operation Whirl Punch, Onyeuko said the air component in a coordinated strike, engaged terrorists around Ckikun in Kaduna State, neutralised key leaders and destroyed their warehouse.
He said the troops had on June 5, engaged terrorists on convoy of 30 motorcycles carrying three persons each and fleeing to nearby clusters of trees after attack on Dogon Noma in Kajuru Local Government Area.
According to him, the terrorists are engaged by NAF platform with scores of the terrorists neutralised and the motorcycles engulfed in flames after the strike. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chioma Ugboma