John Enenche, a major general and coordinator of Defence Media Operations, in a statement, Wednesday in Abuja, said the military acted on credible intelligence received.
“The Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji has destroyed an armed bandits’ logistics store and neutralised no fewer than 30 bandits in air strikes conducted yesterday, May 26, 2020, in the Doumborou Forest area of Zamfara State. The operation was executed based on credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating that a thatched structure within the Forest was being used by the bandits to store their logistics items. Fortuitously, an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft on patrol spotted some of the armed bandits on motorcycles who were tracked to the storehouse where they lodged some items.
“The Air Component therefore dispatched an attack helicopter to engage the location, scoring accurate hits resulting in the destruction of the store, which was seen engulfed in flames. The attack helicopter subsequently trailed the armed bandits who fled the location and mopped them up in follow-on attacks, neutralizing no fewer than 30 of them as later confirmed by HUMINT sources.”
For this success, the team received the commendation of the Chief of Air Staff “for their professionalism and directs them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits; thus achieving the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of restoring normalcy in the North West and North Central Zones of the country. Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria sincerely appreciate the continued support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, as we keep up the tempo of our operations to defeat all enemies of our great nation.”
Between May 22 and 23, at least 200 bandits were killed by the military between Zamfara and Katsina States in multiple air strikes conducted at Ibrahim Mai’Bai’s Camp in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State and Kurmin Kura in Zurmi of Zamfara State.
The two locations, revealed Enenche, were being used as hideouts for leaders of the bandits and also serve as collection points for rustled cattle.
On April 18, bandits killed 70 persons, including women and children, in six communities in Safana, Dutsinma and Danmusa local government areas of Katsina State.