No fewer than 123 armed bandits, 27 Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters have been killed in aggressive operations conducted by troops across the north, the Nigerian Military said on Thursday.
The military said troops also arrested more than 51 terrorists and several bandits; while at least 29 civilians were rescued during the operations.
Benard Onyeuko, acting director, defence media operations (DMO), disclosed this in Abuja while giving a breakdown of the activities of troops in the last two weeks (29th July- 12th August).
Onyeuko said the Headquarters of Operation, Hadin Kai has intensified its operations in the North East theatre.
In addition to the scores of terrorists killed, he said the troop recovered 35 assorted arms and 1,051 round of ammunition including AK-47 and FN rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, GPMG, PKT guns, 60mm mortar tubes, Makarov pistol and other machine guns, amongst other items.
He recalled that no fewer than 1,000 terrorists and their families comprising adult females and children surrendered to their own troops at different locations in the North East.
“Notable among them are the notorious Boko Haram bomb expert by name, Musa Adamu aka Mala Musa Abuja and his deputy, Usman Adamu aka Abu Darda. This has in no small measure depleted the Boko Haram Terrorists fighting force” he said.
Speaking further, he said the air component of operation hadarin daji carried out intensive air strikes on bandits’ hideouts at the South of Dansadau Town; North of Kwiambana Forest Reserves as well as North of Sububu Forest and Dudufi village under Faru District in Maradun LGA, all in Zamfara State.
According to him, the air strikes resulted in the destruction of bandits’ structures including the residence of one of their leaders, Halilu Tubali, in which the armed bandits converged for a meeting.
“The air strikes in conjunction with ground troops’ assaults resulted in the neutralization of no fewer than 123 armed bandits and destruction of their logistics facilities in the process,” he said.
The director further disclosed that saboteurs of the national economic asset were not spared as troops of Operation Delta safely conducted a series of anti-illegal oil operations in the South-South Zone of the Country.
He said the operations led to the discovery and deactivation of several illegal refining sites with a total of 21 ovens, 12 dugout pits and 58 metal storage tanks laden with a total of 2.329 million litres of illegally refined AGO and 2.19 million litres of stolen crude oils as well as 2 boilers and 750 bags of illegally refined oil products.
“During the operations, own troops also recovered one speed boat, one AK-47 rifle, one FN rifle, 3 Smoke gun rifles, 12 fabricated RPGs, 263 live cartridges, 20 rounds of 7.62mm NATO and 7.62mm special ammunition among other items” he added.
On secessionist activities, Onyeuko disclosed that security forces ambushed and neutralized six IPOB/ESN members, who were allegedly involved in the killing of a District Police Officer (DPO) at Omuma Town in Orlu East LGA of Imo State and arrested 3.
He added that 13 other criminal elements were arrested by troops and other security forces operating in the South-east zone, while various weapons were recovered.
In addition to kinetic operations, Onyeuko said troops also conducted non kinetic operations aimed at achieving peace in communities.
He said the troops of operation delta safely held peace and security meetings with community heads, youth leaders and other critical stakeholders at the Emir Palace in Wase LGA and Jengre Town in Bassa LGA of Plateau State, to discuss the various security challenges in the general area.
Onyeuko said the troops also donated exercise books and other writing materials to students of Pilot Science Primary School at Bungha Mangu LGA of Plateau and Government Secondary School, Zango in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State.