Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have rescued 14 victims including two women abducted by bandits in the Faskari and Mararaban Kawaye areas of Katsina State, after a hot chase and gun battle with the criminals.
The operatives also rescued 14 bus passengers kidnapped by bandits along Dutsinma-Yantumaki road on September 9..
The victims, who were travelling along the route in a commercial vehicle ran into the bandits who diverted their vehicle in an attempt to take them hostage.
However, following prompt information by an eyewitness, the troops quickly mobilized and pursued the bandits forcing them to abandon the vehicle with the 14 passengers who were safely rescued.
The personnel also recovered 40 cattle rustled at Kwanar Maje area which have been reportedly restored to their owners.
According to a statement on Monday by the acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, troops deployed in Daki Takwas intercepted and arrested 17 armed Yansakai members on seven motorcycles at Danmarke village in Bukkuyum LGA of Zamfara State, on September 8.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects were from Maga in Kebbi State. Items recovered from them include 12 locally fabricated Dane guns, seven motorcycles and assorted charms. The army said the suspects were undergoing further interrogations.
The statement also stated that a bandit leader identified as Sada surrendered to troops at Forward Operation Base Dansadau and submitted three AK47 rifles, one Sub-machine gun and two magazines.
It further disclosed that troops conducting clearance operation at Shekewa general area destroyed several bandits camps and arrested three suspected bandits identified as Adamu Musa, Hassan Bello and Rabiu Salisu.
It said a suspected bandit was killed while trying to escape on a motorcycle, adding that troops responding to a distress call equally foiled an attempt by bandits to attack and loot Magami village.
The statement was titled, ‘Troops neutralize bandits, rescue kidnap victims, arrest bandits.’
It read,” On 10 September, troops acting on actionable intelligence arrested one illegal arms supplier named Usman Ibrahim from Ryom in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State.
The suspect was arrested with 890 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition carefully concealed in his vehicle.
“Other items recovered from him include a jackknife, one pistol grip, a Nigeria Police identity card, and N2,230,000. Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a major illegal arms dealer supplying bandits in the North-West.”