According to a statement signed by Brig- Gen., Bernard Onyeuko, Acting Director of Defence Media Operation, Defence Headquarter Abuja, on Sunday, one soldier died in the battle with the bandits.
Oyeuko stated that the gallant troops of combat team 1, operation Sahel Theatre with the support of Air Task Force advanced and captured one of the notorious armed bandit strongholds located in the deep forest popularly known as Dangote camp.
“Initial resistance by the bandits was effectively subdued by the superior tactics and dexterity of the troops inflicted heavy casualty on the bandits.
“At the end of the encounter, 17 bandits were neutralised in Jibia Local Government Area while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as evident by the trails of blood traces along their escape routes.
“Equally, five AK-47 rifles, three Dane guns, two AK-47 rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and seven motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.
“Regrettably, one brave officer and two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while four other soldiers were wounded in action,’’ the army stated.
The wounded soldiers are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility.
Meanwhile, the Army spokesman said that on the July 18, troops conducting patrol along Faskari to Sheme to Dandume Road in Katsina State, arrested five suspected bandits including one female.
“One of the suspects, Bashir Usman, who claimed to be a policeman during apprehension could not substantiate his claim as he was found with one AK-47 rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition in his possession while riding on a motorcycle.
“Other items recovered from the suspect include one handset and N6,350 cash.
“The suspect is presently undergoing preliminary interrogation.’’
Similarly on July 17, following a tip-off Onyeuko said the troops have also succeeded in dislodging bandits who invaded Kuka Uku Village in Batsari Local Government who kidnapped a 16-year-old Miss Hadiza Sani.
“The army promptly cordoned the area; the bandits abandoned the victim and fled,’’ Oyeuko stated.
Still, on July 17, he said that troops deployed at ‘Forward Operation Base Bagega’ rescued another kidnapped 10-year-old girl, following an alarm by her mother.
The girl was said to have been kidnapped by two bandits on a motorcycle while both mother and daughter were fetching firewood around Bagega – Tudurki forest.
According to the Army Spokesman, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai had commended the troops for their gallantry and resilience.
Buratai was quoted as urging the troops not to rest on their oars in the fight against criminalities in the country.
He assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to safeguarding their lives and properties.