A combined team of Nigerian troops said it has arrested 11 suspected bandits and recovered 37 weapons during an operation in Nasarawa State.
The troop consists of personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force, Nigeria Navy, the police and Department of State Service of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS).
Commander of the operation Adeyemi Yekini made the disclosure at a press briefing in Lafia.
“OPWS undertook nine operations in the past five weeks; from March 9 to April 17 this year in the state, which covered Doma, Toto, Obi and Awe local government areas of Nassarawa State where the 37 weapons were recovered,” Yekini said.
Yekini listed were AK-47 rifles, two G3 rifles, one Clarion 5.56 Isreali Commando Assort rifle, one Sub Machine Gun (SMG), 3 pistols, 20 locally made pistols, 389 rounds of ammunition and one grenade as part of recovered weapons.
He added that aside the 11 suspects arrested, an undisclosed number of bandits were killed in the course of the operation.
Prior to the operation, arm bandits had caused unrest in Nassarawa and other states in the northern parts of Nigeria.
Earlier in April, Zamfara State was more on the receiving end of insecurity as communities were attacked by armed bandits, leaving scores dead and rendered many homeless.
While many have faulted Nigeria’s security agencies on their roles in security citizens of the country, Nigeria’s defence minister Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali said the Nigerian troops have achieved “achieved a lot of success in killing bandits.”
“It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only. The whole society has to rise in unison to support the government’s efforts to address the problem,” Ali said earlier in April.
He, however, accused traditional rulers of helping bandits attack the affected communities.
Barely a week after Ali’s claim, Nigerian troops arrested a local council vice chairman in Zamfara for his role in bandits attacks in some parts of the state.
Troops of operation Sharan Daji in Zamfara State arrested the vice chairman of Anka Local Government Zamfara State Yahuza Ibrahim Wuya for “seamlessly assisting” bandits attack Wuya and Sunke communities of the state.