By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – Troops deployed for operations in different parts of the country had in the past one week killed 38 terrorists, arrest 242 others while they also rescued 89 kidnapped victims being held hostage by criminals gangs, Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has said.
The arrested suspects include 175 gunmen/criminals, 20 kidnappers, 30 collaborators and 17 pipeline vandals, the Defence Headquarters said in a statement by its spokesperson, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, on Friday in Abuja.
Buba added that the troops also stopped theft of crude oil worth N607 million, while 38 assorted weapons and 186 ammunition were also recovered during the operations.
According to the Defence spokesperson, the weapons recovered by the troops include 14 AK 47 rifles, one G3 rifle, one PKT, three AK47 rifle loaded with 23 rounds of 7.62mm special, one SMG, 10 dane guns and five locally-fabricated pistols.
Others, according to him, include two fabricated weapon, two double-barrel guns, one locally-made revolver, three locally-fabricated pistols, 151 rounds of 7.62mm special, five rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 16 rounds of 9mm ammo, 16 rounds 5.56 x 45mm ammo, 5 rounds of 7.62mm special (refilled), 12 AK47 magazines, one G3 rifle magazine, one FN rifle magazine, one magazine containing 30 rounds of 7.62mm special and seven empty cases of 7.62mm special.
“Miscellaneous items recovered include; 33 motorcycles, 30 mobile phones, four tricycles, four motorola HH radios, four vehicles, 10 bags of fertilizers and 73 livestock.
“Also recovered are seven cutlasses, one magazine pouch, two solar panels, 10 litres of PMS, Nigerian Police uniform, two gas cylinders, one power bank, one pair of woodland and desert camouflages each.
“Troops also recovered the sum of N2.59 million,” he said.
In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 16 terrorists, arrested 53 terrorists and rescued 34 hostages as well as recovered a large cache of arms during the period.
In the North Central, he said troops of Operations Safe Haven remained relentless in offensive posture against kidnappers and other criminal elements within the operational area.
He said the troops had within the week neutralised three terrorists, arrested 13 suspected criminals, five kidnappers and rescued three kidnapped hostages.
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According to him, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke also neutralised seven terrorists, arrested three suspects and rescued three kidnapped hostages.
In the North West, Buba said troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised five terrorists, arrested eight suspects and rescued nine kidnapped hostages while several terrorists’ camps were destroyed.
He said the troops of Operation Whirl Punch neutralised five terrorists, arrested 44 collaborators and rescued 15 kidnapped civilians while several weapons with four trucks and four motorcycles amongst other items were recovered.
In the South-South, Buba said that troops of Operation Delta Safe, destroyed 39 illegal refining sites, 72 dugout pits, 65 wooden boats, 70 storage tanks and 119 cooking ovens with sundry equipment such as two speedboats, five outboard engines, and four pumping machines.
He added that the troops recovered 1,247,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 132,500 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, 57,450 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine and 800 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
In the South East, he said, troops of Operation UDO KA eliminated two members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network, arrested two, apprehended two trucks loaded with illegally refined AGO and rescued four kidnapped hostages.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will not back down in its offensive operations aimed at tackling insecurity across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country.
“Rather, the military will brutally hunt down the orchestrators and take appropriate actions to hold them accountable for their actions.
“The military, while conducting these operations, will continue to take great measures to prevent civilian casualties as protecting civilians remains a vital part of our objective to promote greater security for all Nigerians.
“The uncommon cooperation, collaboration and support received from citizens across the country is greatly assisting own operations to yield expected results,” he said. (NAN/vitalnewsngr.com)