Military operatives have successfully dislodged bandits from their enclaves in Zamfara and Katsina States.
The Army says in a statement that its operatives collaborated with all security agencies and local vigilante to fish out the bandits in an operation that kicked off on 19 January 2019.
The operation, it says, is expected to last up till June 2019.
On Sunday, a day into the launch of the operation, the Army said troops were confronted by a large gang of armed bandits. The bandits were, however, forced to abandon their camps due to superior firepower in the ensuing gun battle.
At least 58 bandits were killed, while another was captured alive.
“Troops also destroyed 18 camps and rescued 75 kidnapped victims held in some of these camps,” the Army’s statement reads.
“The freed captives who were mostly from local communities in Zamfara State were debriefed and reunited with their families.”
The military operatives, however, also lost two of their members to the battle. Two vigilante members were also killed.
“A total of 8 soldiers and 6 vigilantes also sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries,” the statement adds.
“Those who sustained injuries were immediately evacuated to Federal Medical Centre, Gusau for medical treatment, while those with life threatening conditions were evacuated by air for specialist attention outside the theatre of operation.
“The families of the fallen heroes have been contacted accordingly, while the deceased members of the vigilante were laid to rest in Anka Cemetery according to Islamic rites.”
Items such as five Fabric National rifles, four AK-47 rifles, ten locally made rifles, one locally fabricated pistol and forty motorcycles were recovered in the operation.
The Army urges the general public to cooperative with troops and provide information that could lead to arrest of rampaging bandits.