The Defence Headquarters has lauded troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole for their continued dominance of the terrorists in the North East, leading to reduction in their activities.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, gave the commendation on Thursday in Abuja, while giving the weekly update on the activities of the military across theatres of operation.
Mr Enenche said the troops of the armed forces in conjunction with other security agencies in the zone had sustained the tempo of their operational activities.
He explained that the troops, between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14, conducted series of ground and air operations, including aggressive clearance, cordon and search operations.
Mr Enenche said they sustained “Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance’’ missions as well as artillery and aerial bombardments on terrorists’ hideouts within the region.
“Categorically, troops forestalled the terrorists’ moves and also denied them freedom of action in the zone, leading to domination of the zone causing some terrorists to flee from the Joint Operations Area.
“Consequently, there was reduction in the spate of their activities in the North East during the period.
“This is an evidence of troops’ superior operational capabilities.
“The successful feats achieved by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security operatives in the North East to a large extent is considered to be through the cooperation of the populace.
“Thus, the High Command of the Military thanks the general public for the support and cooperation.
“It further solicits cooperation towards providing credible and timely information on terrorists’ activities to facilitate proactive engagements in our operations.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to remain resolute and committed to end the insurgency and terrorism in the North East zone of the country,’’ he said.
In the North-West, Mr Enenche said the military and other security agencies have continued to intensify operations in their resolve to stamp out banditry and other sundry crimes.
He said that various operations were conducted in the zone to raid bandits’ camps in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara and adjoining states during which scores of bandits were killed.
The coordinator added that many bandits and their collaborators were arrested while dozens of kidnapped victims were rescued by the troops.
According to him, on Oct. 12, troops of Operation Accord acting on credible intelligence arrested nine suspected bandits/collaborators at Dan Ali village in Danmusa Local Government Area of (LGA) Katsina State.
“Similarly, in a covert operation based on credible intelligence, four suspected bandits including a suspected bandits’ leader named Mujitafa Shehu were arrested at Kankara and Tudu in Kankara LGA.
“In another development, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity rescued 23 kidnapped victims from fleeing bandits who abandoned the captives along Zauni-Jengebe road in Gusau LGA of Zamfara.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were kidnapped while on transit to Magami market from Gusau in a passenger bus,’’ he said.
Mr Enenche also said that troops of Operation Thunder Strike on Oct. 8, destroyed several bandits’ hideouts at Audu Jongom, Jekadarebi, Dutse and Gona-Bature villages and adjoining forest in Kaduna State.
He said that three kidnapped victims were rescued and two suspects arrested during the operation, while arms and ammunition were recovered.
According to him, Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunship and alpha jet have continued to dominate the air space with aerial patrols providing close air support for ground troops.
“From the operational estimate of these successes recorded within the period, it is clear that there is downward trend in the activities of bandits in the zone.
“Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies are committed in their endeavor to end banditry and other sundry crimes in the country,’’ he said.