Coordinated strikes by air platforms and assault by ground forces under Operation Hadarin Daji of the Defence Headquarters has led to the eliminations of bandits gathered for a meeting in Sububu Forest in Zamfara State.
PRNigeria gathered that local and foreign high profile bandit leaders were struck at the designated location which happened to be bandit leader Halilu Tubali’s residence at the North of Sububu Forest.
A top military intelligence officer told PRNigeria that upon receipt of information of a planned gathering of bandits at Sububu Forest, the Air Component OPHD was immediately activated to initiate and maintain ISR missions over the Forest.
It further gathered that land forces within the vicinity of the forest were also alerted to prepare for an assault on the bandits once air strikes on their gathering are executed just as the operatives of State Security Service, SSS, kept surveillance on their movement.
The officer said: “At about 2.24pm on 6 Aug 21, intelligence filtered of the arrival of the bandits as well as the positive sighting of Halilu Tubali amongst a host of other high-profile targets.
“Subsequently, an Alpha Jets was dispatched to the target location. On sighting many of the bandits dressed in black, the Alpha Jet engaged with rockets in a first pass, neutralizing scores of them. The remnant bandits taking cover in a well camouflaged green roofed structure within the shrubs were equally neutralized.
“On a second pass, the aircraft targeted makeshift structures where remnants of the bandits were hiding and successfully decimated them.
“Few wounded bandits scampering in disarray after the strikes were promptly intercepted by ground troops who assaulted the location after the air strikes.
“The joint operation led to the successful neutralization of more than 45 bandits. It is still unclear if the bandit leader Halilu Tubali was killed in the air strike even though one of the bandits who was wounded in the strike confirmed the effectiveness of the strikes,” the officer concluded.
Efforts to reach the new Director Defence Information, DDI, and spokesperson of Defence Headquarters, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer for comment on the development were futile.