By Ankeli Emmanuel and Tarkaa David
Nigerian troops have recorded major victories against terrorists operating in two states, killing three Boko Haram commanders in Borno State and 37 bandits in Zamfara State.
In Borno State, the Nigerian Army yesterday repelled an attack by Boko Haram terrorists at Jidimari community in Jidari Polo area of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, killing three top commanders in the process.
According to reports, the terrorists were using Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (PBIED) when the soldiers confronted them.
The acting director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, described the attack as a highly desperate, orchestrated and collaborative resolve of the terrorists with their cohorts and sponsors to scuttle the 2019 general elections.
He noted that troops of 251 Task Force Battalion, in conjunction with the Civilian JTF, immediately repelled the attack and cleared the general area.
According to him, during the encounter, troops killed three Boko Haram commanders and recovered two AK 47 rifles.
He, however, lamented that four innocent civilians lost their lives to terrorists’ bullets and explosion of PBIED targeted at a mosque during early morning prayers.
Musa said the carrier of the PBIED and a Civilian JTF member who strived to prevent the suicide bomber from accessing the mosque also lost their lives due to the explosion.
He also assured that troops had covered the area and were conducting a search to rid the area of any lurking terrorists.
He therefore called on members of the public to be more alert and avail security agencies of any observed or suspicious movement of persons or items, adding that doing so will indeed assist security agencies to effectively deal with the challenges.
Similarly, troops of ‘Operation Sharan Daji’ of the Nigeria Army have killed no fewer than 37 bandits, arrested six others and rescued 80 persons abducted by bandits in Zamfara State, Major Clement Abiade has confirmed.
Abiade, who is the acting Force Information Officer, made the disclosure in a release sent to LEADERSHIP Sunday yesterday in Sokoto.
The statement reads in part: “In continuation of the recently launched simultaneous operation designed to decimate banditry activities in Zamfara and other contiguous states, troops of ‘Operation Sharan Daji’ have continued to dominate the Areas of Operation with aggressive patrols.
“Troops also maintain day and night patrols deep into the forest areas and points/routes to deny the bandits freedom of action while building confidence of the locals.
“The intensity and redoubled efforts in the conduct of these military activities in the past week has achieved tremendous successes leading to the recovery of weapons, ammunition and rustled cattle. The troops also had several encounters with bandits during the period in focus and neutralised 37 bandits.
“A total of six suspected bandits’ informants, rustlers, kidnappers and logistics suppliers were arrested during this period. The suspects will be handed over to the Nigerian Police for investigation and possible prosecution.”
Major Abiade further revealed that the air component of Operation Sharan Daji had carried out several air strikes around Dumburum Forest, and that subsequent mop-up led to the rescue of 80 abducted persons, consisting of men, women and children from communities in Zamfara State.
“It is important to observe that these successes were achieved at a price. In this regard, a total of six soldiers paid the supreme price along Bini Maru LGA while returning to base after a long range patrol,” he said, adding that their sacrifices would not be in vain.