Troops kill 58 bandits in troubled Zamfara, rescue 75 kidnapped victims

Two soldiers and two members of the vigilante were killed in the firefight.

Bandit camp set on fire by troops [Facebook/HQ Nigerian Army]

Troops of the Nigerian Army have killed 58 bandits and rescued 75 abducted victims in clearance operations conducted in troubled Zamfara State.

Zamfara has been the hotbed of insecurity over the past months as hundreds have been killed by bandits and many others kidnapped for ransom.

In clearance operations conducted by troops of Operation Sharan Daji, in collaboration with all security agencies and local vigilante, at Dumburum and Gando forests on January 20, 2019, bandits were forced to abandon their camps after a firefight that lasted for hours.

According to a statement by the acting spokesperson of Operation Sharan Daji, Major Clement Abiade, the large group of bandits were armed with sophisticated firearms and rocket propelled grenades.

"The casualty figures on the bandits' side were 58 bandits neutralised, while one was captured alive," the statement read.

While 18 camps were destroyed , 75 abducted victims were rescued in some of the camps, many of them from local communities in Zamfara State.

Items recovered from the camps include five fabric national rifles, four AK-47 rifles, 10 locally-made rifles, one locally-fabricated pistol, and 40 motorcycles.

Two soldiers and two members of the vigilante were killed in the firefight and eight soldiers and six vigilantes were also injured and immediately evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau for medical treatment.

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," Major Abiade said.

The Force Commander of Operation Sharan Daji, Major-General SO Olabanji, reaffirmed the operation's commitment towards ridding Zamfara State of "all forms of banditry and criminality in line with its mandate".

The mandate of Operation Sharan Daji is to clear bandits' camps in Zamfara and Kaduna from January to June 2019.

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