Troops of the 223 Battalion, Nigerian Army have killed at least 11 suspected armed bandits on Saturday during a mop up operation on their hideouts in Zamfara state.
Speaking on the killing of the criminals, the Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, disclosed that the troops who carried out the raids were on field training – codenamed ‘Harbin Kunama’ (shooting scorpion) that heralded the just-concluded Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2016.
Usman also revealed that the troops suddenly turned a simulation exercise into reality when they ran into armed bandits in the Madaka village jungles of Maru Local government area.
The statement said, nine of the bandits were killed, while some arms were recovered, even as two other suspected criminals were killed elsewhere.
He said the troops which later advanced to other jungles of neighbouring local government areas, accosted more bandits and even rescued rustled cows and sheep from fleeing rustlers.
A statement issued by the acting director, Army Public Relations read:
“As part of the activities marking the Nigerian Army Day Celebrations (NADCEL) 2016, troops involved in live field training exercise code named “Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA”, have intensified patrol of the various forests in Zamfara State. It is in line with that troops of 223 Battalion while on patrol encountered armed bandits at Madaka village, Maru Local Government Area in which they killed 9 armed bandits and recovered 3 AK-47 rifles, 2 AK-47 rifles magazine, 3 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, 1 machete and 24 motorcycles.
“Similarly, local vigilantes at ‘Yargada village, Gusau Local Government Area apprehended a fleeing suspected armed bandit and handed him over to troops deployed at Magami.
“In a related development, troops have also raided a bandit camp at Gangamai village in Dansadau Local Government Area. During the raid there was an exchange of fire between the troops and the armed bandits.
Unfortunately, the bandits escaped with gun shot wounds. However, the troops recovered 2 Dane Guns bags containing marijuana (aka Indian hemp). Another team also carried out raid on cattle rustlers and armed bandits camp at Gidan Mai Jaja in Dansadau general area.
“Here, the rustlers and armed bandits fled on sighting the approaching troops abandoning 85 cows, 37 sheep and a donkey. Similarly, another patrol team also carried out a raid on a armed bandits and cattle rustlers camp at Gobirawan Kwacha where they killed 2 armed bandits and recovered a machete.