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Ops 777: Troops Kill 20 Bandits, Arrest 21 others; recover 1,444 cows.

In continuation of Operation 777, the special operation coordinated by Defence headquarters to reinvigorate ongoing military operations across the country, troops of Operation Sharan Daji, one of such operations has successfully neutralized 20 armed bandits while 21 suspects with useful information have been arrested.

Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim who made the disclosure while giving an update of Operation 777 in Gusau, Zamfara State, said troops also recovered 1,444 Cows, 478 Sheep, 11 Camels, 14 donkeys, 56 rams and 293 goats.

He said, “ It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this briefing on activities of the Operation SHARAN DAJI (OPSD) being conducted by the combined forces of the military and other security agencies.

“This operation is part of the Operation 777, which is being conducted and coordinated simultaneously nationwide under the auspices of the Defence Headquarters.

“Prior to the launch of Operation 777, bandits and criminals devised different means of evading ongoing operations in different theatres of operations.

“However, since the commencement of Op 777 on 8 October 2018, significant operational successes have been recorded across the nation.

“The OPSD is mostly targeted against the activities of bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and cattle rustlers.

“The Operational activities and Area of Responsibility (AOR) of OPSD was expanded to achieve the set objectives of Op 777.

“The newly reinvigorated OPSD now covers entire Zamfara State and some LGAs of the contiguous States of Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto.

“All these efforts contributed immensely to the achievements of OPSD during the period under review.

“Substantial numbers of suspected bandits were neutralized and some have been apprehended and they are undergoing interrogation and will soon be prosecuted.

“These efforts have created enabling environment for the return of IDPs back to their ancestral homes.

“Currently the spate of attacks on innocent citizens, kidnappings, animal rustlings, armed robbery, imposition of levies and criminality in some parts of OPSD AOR has been drastically reduced.

“The fight against the criminal elements in our society has been yielding significant successes as evidenced in the decreasing statistics of crimes within the period under review and from the testimonies of the local populace, including you, the media.

“The OPSD has been reinvigorated through the support from the Defence Headquarters to perform maximally.

“Raid operations, robust patrols, ambushes and surveillance in the past days have been intensified.

“The Air Task Force (ATF) in support of this operation has also continued to strike at the bandits as well as destroying their enclaves in the forests.

“The air bombardment on bandits’ camps and hideout has kept them constantly on the run, disorganized and incapable of launching coordinated attacks on communities like before, and this will continue to be sustained.

It is worth mentioning at this juncture that tremendous achievements were recorded in the area of Trans – borders security collaboration between the government of Nigeria and the Republic of Niger.

“Joint patrols between troops of OPSD and Nigerien soldiers’ was established on 6 Sep 18.

“Joint patrols were exploited to Sahel forest and Gidan Jiya in Niger Republic where bandits who escaped military onslaught from our troops in Zamfara State hibernate to re-arm or plan their nefarious activities.

“These patrols have so far yielded significant successes as a lot of criminals have been intercepted and illicit arms recovered.

“20 bandits were neutralized while 21 suspects arrested are helping with useful information. During the period in focus, troops also recovered 1,444 Cows, 478 Sheep, 11 Camels, 14 donkeys, 56 rams and 293 goats.

“The recovered rustled animals have been handed over to the States Committees on Recovery of Rustled Cattle.

“Similarly, some household gadgets and electronic items were recovered. These included 1 deep freezer, 1 generator set and 14 cell phones.

“Other items recovered were 2 military desert camouflages, 1 camo T-shirt and jungle hat, 55 motorcycles and the sum of Twenty Seven Thousand Four Hundred and Thirty Naira (#27,430.00) as well as food items.”

“Of utmost interest are the sophisticated weapon systems that have been recovered.

“These included 24 AK47 Riffles,2 pump action guns, 1 double barrel gun, 40magazines with quantity 1,798 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 1 locally made pistol, 8 locally made guns and 2 cartridges.

“Others were 7Dane guns, 1FN Bayonet, 7 axes, 2 bows and arrows, 1 handcuff, 30 machetes and 6 short knives.

“The troops also recovered raps of Indian hemp as well as charms. The recovered weapons are displayed outside and you shall see them after this briefing.

“Within this period of the launch of Op 777, our troops rescued and set free hostages and victims of abductions.

“On 30 October 2018, one kidnapped Bala Usman; a 26 year old man from Funtua was freed by our troops from his abductors in Dumburum Forest.

“Similarly, 40 years old Alhaji Rabbo Yahaya, from Bako Gebie, Zurmi LGA who was kidnapped on 29 October 2018 was rescued in Dumburum by our troops from his abductors.

“Unfortunately, during these encounters, one of our soldiers paid the supreme price and 6 others wounded. Those wounded are receiving medical attention in our medical facility.”

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