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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Thursday disclosed that its troops across all theatres of operations arrested 93 terrorists and criminals, as well as killed 42 in the past month.

It also revealed that the troops also rescued 105 captives from bandits and kidnappers within the period under review.

Acting Director Defence Media Operation, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko made this disclosure while bringing Defence correspondents up to speed with military operations across the federation within the given period.

He said: “The Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to maintain increased vigour and aggressive posture throughout all its operations in the various theatres. This is coupled with the Chief of Defence Staff’s non-kinetic engagements across the Country between 16 and 29 July 2021.

“Within the period, own troops 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 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 the name of Faisal Saidu who paraded himself as Lance Corporal Saidu Abubakar. Furthermore, a total of 223 rustled livestock were recovered during the period”.

General Onyeuko added that “the operations led to the neutralization of 16 BHT/ISWAPs as well as the arrest of 29 of them, while 40 civilians were rescued. BHT and their families 5 female Adults and 12 children were arrested at FOB Mayanti and Darajamel on 15 Jul.

“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 of 12 assorted rifles, a truckload 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”.

He also added that caches of armed and ammunition were recovered from the criminal elements during the operations.

On the non-kinetic activities of the military, the Acting Director said that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General LEO Irabor has continued his consultations with retired senior military officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the various geopolitical zones of the country as a way of leveraging on their experience and feel their pulse on the security challenges in their local communities.

He revealed that the Chief of Defence Staff held a no-holds-barred interaction with retired senior officers from the North West Zone in Kaduna.

“Furthermore, on 22 July 2021, he took the security parley to the South East which was held at Owerri, Imo State. During both interactions with retired senior officers, the CDS assured the people of the Zones of his commitment towards improved security in the country,” he further revealed.

The Acting Director noted that the CDS maintained that the retired senior officers are the most qualified in the matrix of peace and security of the nation.

He concluded that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies are seriously committed and are working assiduously to fight all forms of criminality for the unity of this nation and will not relent in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace in the country.

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