The troops conducting Operation Sharan Daji in Zamfara State killed 58 suspected armed bandits in Dumburum and Gando forests on Sunday, the acting spokesman of the Operation, Major Clement Abiade, said in a statement yesterday.
Abiade said the troops also captured one armed bandit alive, destroyed 18 camps and rescued 75 kidnapped victims held in some of the camps. The freed captives who were mostly from local communities in Zamfara State were debriefed and reunited with their families.
Other items recovered from the bandits included 5 fabric national rifles, 4 AK47 rifles, 10 locally made rifles, 1 locally fabricated pistol and 40 motorcycles.
“Unfortunately, Operation SHARAN DAJI also suffered some casualties in these encounters. So far, two gallant soldiers and two members of the vigilante paid the supreme prize.
“A total of 8 soldiers and 6 vigilantes also sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries. 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,” he said.
He said in line with the mandate of Operation SHARAN DAJI, troops had commenced clearance operations into bandits enclaves in Zamfara and Katsina States on January 19 and would last till June.
He said the operation was being conducted simultaneously in collaboration with all security agencies and local vigilante.
“The Force Commander, Operation SHARAN DAJI, Maj Gen SO Olabanji commiserates with families of the fallen heroes and assures them that their sacrifices will not be in vain.
“He reaffirms the commitment of operation SHARAN DAJI to rid Zamfara State of all forms of banditry and criminality in line with its mandate”
“Therefore, the general public is enjoined to cooperate with troops and furnish security agencies with useful and timely information about bandits’ activities within their domain, he added.