The Defence headquarters said on Thursday troops of the Nigerian military have discovered a new hideout of militia belonging to the Eastern Security Network (ESN) at Ihiala in Anambra State used in the production of explosives and other arms for attacks on security personnel in the south-east.
DHQ noted that the production site was destroyed by security forces even as troops have continued to maintain vigilance and dominate the Zone with patrols to deter intending criminal activities.
Acting Director Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko who made this known at a briefing, also said that based on credible intelligence, troops conducted a raid operation on a notorious camp of the IPOB/ESN at Akpawfu Community in Nkanu East LGA of Enugu State.
“A combined team of security operatives raided the camp and neutralized some of their members and recovered arms and ammunition in the process” he said.
Brig-Gen Onyeuko disclosed that in the war against banditry in the North West Zone of the country, 14 armed bandits were neutralized, 36 kidnap victims rescued while 24 criminal elements including 16 bandits informants were arrested.
Additionally, 7 AK 47 rifles, 6 motorcycles, 4 machetes’ and 223 rustled cows were recovered from bandits.
He said, “Troops of operation Hadarin Daji responded to distress calls of bandits and armed militia groups’ attacks on civilians at Hanutaru and Dansadau villages in Maru LGA of Zamfara State; along Gusau – Sokoto Road.
“Troops also carried out rescue operations within the period at Bakori LGA of Katsina State; Eldabala village in Tangaza LGA and along Lamba Bakura – Dogo Karfe Road in Sokoto State.
“Consequently, no fewer than 14 armed bandits were neutralized. Also, a total of 36 kidnapped victims were rescued within the period and troops assisted one of the victims to safe delivery of a baby during one of the encounters.
“A total of 7 AK-47 rifles, 6 motorcycles, assorted military and police uniforms, 6 vehicles and 4 machetes among other items were recovered within the period.
“Also, a total of 24 criminal elements were intercepted and arrested, including 16 bandits’ informants/collaborators and an impostor by name Faisal Saidu who paraded himself as Lance Corporal Saidu Abubakar. Furthermore, a total of 223 rustled livestock were recovered during the period.
Regarding the war on terror, Onyeuko said 15 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists were killed in several encounters, 29 terrorists members arrested while 40 kidnapped civilians were rescued by troops.
He said, “Troops of Operation Hadin Kai conducted several land and air operations at different locations of the theatre.
“Cumulatively, the operations led to the neutralization of 16 BHT/ISWAPs as well as arrest of 29 of them, while 40 civilians were rescued. 5 female adults and 12 children who are family member of BHT/ISWAP were arrested at FOB Mayanti and Darajamel.
“Troops also recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun, 4 AK-47 rifles, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and one belt containing 296 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, accessories for making IED among other items’.
“In Operation Safe Haven, troops conducted several kinetic and non-kinetic operations concurrently at various locations in Plateau, Bauchi and Kaduna States.
“These operations were conducted at Ungwan Jabba, Ungwan Rohogo village in Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State; Rafiki village in Bassa LGA as well as Kerang and Panyam villages in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.
Other locations where some incidents were recorded are Penjum and Magamiya villages in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna state as well as Godogodo District; Kafanchan Town and Kyayya village, all in Jama’a LGA as well as Numbu village in Sanga LGA, Kaduna State.
Raid operations were also conducted on some Sara Suka members’ hideouts and other criminals’ enclaves at Rikkos and Gangare general areas in Jos North LGA; Biembiem village and Dabba Village in Wase LGA of Plateau State.
“Cumulatively, 7 armed bandits and 5 armed robbers were neutralized and several others escaped with gunshot wounds, while 12 were arrested within the period.
“A total 12 assorted rifles, a truck load of stolen railway tracks and sleepers were also recovered in the course of the operations. More so, a total of 17 kidnap victims were also rescued from their abductors within the period.
“All arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed-over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for further necessary action, while rescued victims have been reunited with their families.
For Operation Whirl Stroke, troops simultaneously conducted several operations in different locations in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States.
“Significantly, troops responded to distress calls on bandits’ attacks as well as youths’ clash over land dispute at Kyegba village in Takum LGA of Taraba State and Ogundu village in Guma LGA of Benue State on 15 and 16 July 2021, respectively.
“Troops also carried out rescue operations at Uttu village in Toto LGA of Nasarawa and Tsegbaka village in Utenge Council Ward of Benue State.
“Cumulatively, troops recovered a total of 5 motorcycles, 3 pump actions one locally-made mortar tube, 6 Dane guns, 3 machetes and 62 assorted rounds of ammunition. Similarly, 6 kidnappers were arrested and 12 kidnap victims were rescued by troops of Operation Whirl Stroke.
Speaking on military operations in the South-South zone, the Acting Director said,“Troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted series of anti-crude oil theft, anti-illegal bunkering, anti-illegal oil refining, anti-smuggling and anti-militancy operations.
“These operations recorded significant successes incuding at Isaka Community in Okrika LGA; along Oyenda Creek in Andoni LGA; Alagba Community and Cawthorne Channel all in Rivers State.
“Other locations are Hununu Creek in Akasa Community, Bayelsa State; Madagh Creek in Warri South LGA and Opugbene Community in Warri South/West LGA of Delta State.
“During the operations, troops discovered and immobilized illegal refining sites with a total of 24 ovens, 37 storage tanks laden with a total of 120,000 liters of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit, 80,000 liters of illegally Automotive Gas Oil and 1,100 barrels of stolen crude oil.
“Troops also arrested a large wooden boat laden with 22,000 liters of Dual Purpose Kerosene or (Kerosene), five 45HP boat engines and 2 pumping machines.
“Troops have remained on high alert and sustained intensive land, maritime and air patrols to provide security for critical maritime infrastructure in the Operation Delta Safe area of responsibility.
Troops of Operation Awatse fighting ecomonic saboteurs within the South West Zone of the Country, “on 20 July 2021, acting on credible intelligence, carried out raid operation on criminals engaged in illegal oil bunkering activity at NNPC Pipeline Right of Way Sagamu by Toll Gate, Ogun State.
“During the raid operation on the location, troops arrested 3 bunkerers with 8 vehicles containing over 56 jerry cans of stolen Premium Motor Spirit and other oil products.
“Similarly, on 24 and 25 July, troops simultaneously conducted routine patrols and sting operations at Arepo and Majidun Communities in Lagos State to forestall pipeline vandals’ activities and other economic saboteurs.
“During the operations troops arrested 3 vandals including their spy named Mr. Bamidele from Ikotun, Lagos State.
“Troops have continued to dominate the theatre of operation with land, maritime and air patrols to protect Nigeria’s economic infrastructures in the Zone” Onyeuko said.