No fewer than 50 terrorists were killed and 122 others arrested in several counter-terrorism operations across Nigeria last week, the Defence Headquarters said on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The troops also rescued about 182 kidnap victims in a renewed effort towards eliminating and cutting the terrorists’ chain of command, recovering 66 assorted weapons and 11,474 assorted ammunition comprising one conqueror APC, one GPMG, one NSVT gun, one GT3 rifle, 25 AK47 rifles, four pump action guns, and two locally made AK47 rifles.
In the North West, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji stormed terrorists’ hideouts, killing 20 and arresting 48 others. The troops rescued 56 kidnap victims and recovered several weapons. An air raid was subsequently conducted on the hideout of a terror kingpin in Maru local government in Zamfara, the epicentre of the crisis in the region.
“Troops of Operation Whirl Punch neutralised four terrorists, arrested eight suspected terrorists and rescued nine kidnapped hostages as well as recovered arms and the sum of N75 million,” the Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj-Gen. Edward Buba said.
The region has become a hotbed of armed violence, grappling with mass killings and a booming kidnap-for-ransom enterprise for more than a decade now.
The troops of Hadin Kai also took down 33 terrorists in the North East. The Director said 132 kidnap victims were also rescued. Since 2009, Boko Haram has waged a violent insurgency in northeastern Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Between 2011 and 2022, insurgent groups in the region were responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people, displacing more than two million from their homes, and disrupting economic activities in the region.
The troops of Operation Safe Haven and the Whirl Stroke were also said to have recorded some feats in separate operations in the North-central region. The troops eliminated 29 terrorists and apprehended some 34 others. Eighteen kidnap victims were also freed during the offensives.
It is not any different in the Niger Delta where oil bunkering and illegal refining sites sprawl endlessly across the region. Apart from unleashing endemic environmental and health catastrophes on local residents, according to a HumAngle investigation, it also cost the country billions of dollars.
About 49 illegal refining sites were reportedly destroyed. Other items include 242 dugout pits, 49 boats, 78 storage tanks, one tricycle, 21 vehicles, 104 cooking ovens, three pumping machines, and seven outboard engines.
Buba added that the troops recovered 151,850 litres of stolen crude oil, 48,630 litres of illegally refined AGO and 10,125 litres of DPK.
“The armed forces will continue to apply strong military pressure such as has been witnessed in the week.
“The terrorists and their cohorts would continue to suffer heavy casualties and it is in their interest to surrender as is being done in the North East of the country to avoid eventual destruction,” he added.
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