Troops of the Nigerian Army have shot dead five suspected bandits during an operation in the troubled Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Saturday Punch learnt that the troops of 223 Battalion deployed on Operation Idon Raini on Thursday, carried out the raids in Danguru, Babandoka and Dansadau districts in Maru, following a report of the bandits’ activities in the area.
According to the army, three of the hoodlums were killed during the encounter while their camps were also destroyed.
It was learnt that the troops thereafter moved to Gobirawa and Kwacha villages around Madaka Forest, still in Dansadau district, and killed two other bandits.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, who confirmed the raids, said efforts were ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the group.
He said, “Troops of 223 Battalion embarked on a raid operation at Danguru, Babandoka Forest of Dansadau district and three bandits were killed during the encounter and their camps also destroyed.
“Two bandits were also killed in a raid operation in Gobirawa and Kwacha villages around Madaka Forest. The others fled following a superior fire power of the troops. Efforts are on to get other members of the fleeing bandits by the troops.
“Items recovered include; one motorcycle and a mobile phone. The residents are once again advised to report any suspicious activities or movements to the law enforcement agents for prompt action.”
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had at the Security Council meeting held on Tuesday with President Muhammadu Buhari, raised the alarm on the violence and killings by bandits in Zamfara State and the North-West region, noting that an urgent solution must be found.
He had said, “The upsurge in incidents of security concern in Zamfara State is quite disturbing and calls for a more robust approach to tackling the threat.
“The situation is characterised with killings and kidnappings by bandits and criminal elements predominantly in Anka, Maru, Kaura Namoda and Talata Mafara local government areas of the state.”