By Chioma Iruke
A coordinated air offensive against armed bandits’ identified enclave at Kwiambana Forest Reserves by the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji, has led to the killing of 78 bandits.
Information by a military source also disclosed that those that survived the air bombardment has since fled the camp.
This is even as bandits’ informant and logistics supplier, Aminu Saminu was nabbed by men of the Air Component, around the Kaduna International Airport.
The military source said the air offensive action against bandits in North West Nigeria received a boost in a three-day intensive military operation led by the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji.
He noted that the latest offensive was part of the military’s resolve to rid the region of banditry.
The source said, “the air component focused on locations with a high concentration of bandits such as South of Dansadau town and North of Kwiambana Forest Reserves in Zamfara State.
“Specifically, on 2 August 2021, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) surveillance platforms overhead these locations locked on armed bandits on bikes moving into Kwiambana Forest Reserves.
Diligent tracking of their movement led the platforms to an extensive and well concealed camps with numerous huts.
Accordingly, using a mix of NAF Alpha Jet, MI 171 and Agusta 109 strike helicopters, bombardment of the camps commenced on the evening of 2 August 2021 in liaison with ground troops forming blocking forces around the targeted areas of the forest.
Through these coordinated attacks, over 78 bandits were neutralized, and their camps destroyed. Informants and locals in the general vicinity also confirmed an exodus of surviving bandits from the forest.
Further ISR by the air component confirmed a total abandonment of the camp by the surviving bandits”.
He further disclosed that in another development, the NAF 404 Force Protection Group stationed in Kaduna, on 4 August 2021, arrested a 48-year-old bandits’ logistics runner named, Aminu Saminu, around the Kaduna International Airport.
“During interrogation, the culprit revealed that he usually disguises as a charcoal businessman to purchase food and other items for bandits at Bamba Village in Igabi Local Government Area (West of Kaduna International Airport).
Useful information by the runner was availed to the Air Component that has engineered focus around the Kaduna International Airport environment and other areas with high bandits’ concentration,” he narrated.