Insecurity: Troops Rescue 249, Neutralize 227 Terrorists Nationwide

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The troops of the Nigerian armed forces in the last one week, rescued 249 kidnapped hostages from the grip of terrorists in the North alone, out of a total of 253 abducted victims.

During the several engagements that ensued, troops neutralized a total of 227 terrorists, kidnappers and violent extremists while a total of 540 were arrested including 11 perpetrators of oil theft.

Troops also discovered and destroyed 57 illegal refining sites in the Niger Delta, 18 dugout pits, 97 storage tanks, 34 boats,198 cooking ovens, 5 drums, 4 reservoirs, 9 vehicles, 3 pumping machines, 2 speedboats, one outboard engine.

Major Gen Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations said at a briefing, “Troops denied the oil theft of the sum of over N1.31billion (One billion, three hundred and twelve million four hundred and seventy-seven thousand fifty naira only.

“Troops recovered 1,442,700 litres of stolen crude oil and 154,650 litres of illegally refined AGO

“Furthermore, troops recovered 231 assorted weapons and 6,441 assorted ammunition comprising 89 AK47 rifles, 40 locally fabricated gun, 59 Dane guns, 2 pump action guns, 8 locally fabricated pistols, 6 x 36 hand grenade, 3 IED, one RPG 7 tubes, one RPG 7 charger, 4 AGL rounds, 250kg bombs used by NATO and Eastern Bloc aircraft, one MRAP, 4,198 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 841 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 5.56mm, 16 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 99 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 956 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm, 242 live cartridges, and the sum of N1,630,000.00 only amongst other items.”

Detailing the operations, Gen Buba said, “In the North East, troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralized 83 terrorists, arrested 59 suspects and rescued 58 kidnappers hostages.

“Troops recovered one GPMG, 62 AK47 rifles, 24 fabricated rifles, 35 Dane guns, 3 locally made pistols, 6 units of 36 hand grenade, 2,120 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 696 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds 5.56mm ammo, 956 rounds of 7.62 units 54mm ammunition, 99 rounds of 7.62 units 51mm, 129 live cartridges, one RPG 7 tubes, one RPG 7 charger, 4 AGL rounds, one barrel of QJC Gun, one barrel of PKT with receiver, one barrel of Dushka Gun, 250kg bombs used by NATO, one PKM magazine and 4 magazines amongst others.

“On 6 and 12 May 2024, 52 BH/ISWAP/JAS terrorists combatants and families members comprising of 16 adult males, 15 adult females and 21 children surrendered to troops in Mafa and Bama LGAs of Borno State as well as Gujba LGA of Yobe State.

“Between 8 and 10 May 2024, troops conducted separate offensive operations and made contact with BH/ISWAP terrorists in Damboa, Mafa, Dikwa, Gwoza and Bama LGAs of Borno State as well as Madagali LGA of Adamawa State. Following a fire fights, troops neutralized 28 terrorists, arrested 4 suspects and rescued 14 kidnapped hostages.

“Between 11 and 14 May 2024, troops conducted separate offensive operations and made contact with BH/ISWAP terrorists in Gwoza, Bama and Kukawa LGAs of Borno State. Following fire fights, troops neutralized 24 terrorists and rescued 14 BH/ISWAP terrorists fighters family members.

“Between 6 and 9 May 2024, troops with hybrid forces in separate operations arrested 5 suspected BH/ISWAP/JAS terrorists collaborators and kidnappers in Yunusari and Geidam LGAs of Yobe State as well as Michika LGA of Adamawa State respectively.

“In the North Central, troops of operation Safe Haven neutralized 10 insurgents, arrested 31 violent extremists and rescued 24 kidnapped hostages. Troops recovered one fabricated rifle, 2 Dane guns, 23 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, one motorcycle and 3 mobile phones amongst others.

“On 10 May 2024, troops responded to information on activities of violent extremists/kidnappers in Shendam LGA of Plateau State. During the operation, troops rescued one kidnapped hostage.

“Between 10 and 13 May 2024, troops conducted separate counter/anti kidnapping operations in Jema’a and Sanga LGAs of Kaduna State as well as Shendam and Riyom LGAs of Plateau State. During the operations, troops rescued 4 kidnapped hostages and recovered one fabricated rifle, 23 rounds of 7.62mm NATO and one mobile phone.

“Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke neutralized 17 terrorists, arrested 123 violent extremists and rescued 18 kidnapped hostages. Troops recovered 2 AK47 rifles, 7 Dane guns, one locally made pistol, 1,546 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 17 rounds of 7.62 units of 39mm, 26 live cartridges, 31 motorcycles, 16 mobile phones and the sum of N1,630,000.00 only, amongst others.

“In the North West, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized 58 terrorists, arrested 125 terrorists and rescued 105 kidnapped hostages,

“Troops recovered 29 AK47 rifles, 15 fabricated rifles, 12 Dane guns, 2 locally fabricated pistols, 344 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 122 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 45 live cartridges, 4 magazines, 30 motorcycles, 37 mobile phones and 12 cutlasses amongst others.

“On 12 May 2024, troops encountered 2 separate ambushes at Kuran Mota Village as well as along Road Alikere – Yarmalimai Village in Zamfara State.

“Though troops fought fiercely to extricate themselves from the situation. Sadly, troops recorded casualties of 4 soldiers killed in action, while 3 were wounded in action in the first ambush. In the second ambush incident 5 soldier’s sustained minor injuries of gunshot wounds and the soldiers have been stabilized as they were evacuated to FOB Faskari for medication care.

“During the ambush, troops received support from the air component OP Hadarin Daji as well as reinforcement from FOB Yarmalimai. The joint effort of both forces dealt severe blow to the coalition of terrorist that gathered in numerical strength to execute both ambushes.

“Accordingly, several of the terrorist were neutralized as they suffered heavy casualties. However, troops unlock the change in tactics of these terrorist and made necessary adjustments to maintain tactical superiority in the battlefield.

“Also, following intelligence trail and confirmatory ISR on migration of notorious terrorist’s elements to a deserted settlement as new enclave in Faskari LGA of Katsina State. On 8 May 2024, the air component conducted air interdiction mission at the location. Consequently, the target was acquired and attacked with rockets and bombs. Battle Damage Assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralized and their structures as well as logistics destroyed.

“Similarly, on 10 May 2024, the air component conducted air interdiction following confirmatory ISR on uncovered influx of terrorists into Bayan Ruwa, Maradun LGA of Zamfara State. Accordingly, the location was acquired and attacked with bombs in multiple passes. Battle Damage Assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralized and their structures destroyed.

““Troops of Operation Whirl Punch neutralized 25 terrorists, arrested 97 suspects and rescued 32 kidnapped hostages. Troop’s recovered 6 AK47 rifles, 2 pump action rifles, one IED, 188 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 23 live cartridges, 5 magazines and 2 baofeng radios amonsgt others.

“Following INTREP and confirmatory ISR on sited terrorists training camp at Kuduru in Giwa LGA of Kaduna State. The air component of Operation Whirl Punch on 10 May 2024, conducted air Interdiction over the location. Accordingly, the targets were sighted and engaged with rockets and canons. Battle Damage Assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralized and their structures destroyed.

“In the Niger Delta, troops of Operation Delta Safe neutralized 3 extremists and apprehended 16 suspected oil theft criminals and other violent extremists. Troops recovered 2 magazines, 2 weapons and 79 assorted ammunitions.

“On 9 May 2024, troops while conducting fighting patrol raided a violent extremist/notorious gang leader hideout identified as Lawrence Yambor in Ovia South-West LGA of Edo State. During the operations, troops recovered 8 Dane guns, one axe and cutlasses amongst others.

“On 9 May 2024, troops while on the raid of suspected violent extremists identified Sunday Godslaw resident in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State. During the operation, troops arrested one suspect identified as Smart Ibikoro and recovered one locally made gun.

“On 10 May 2024, following report, troops with NDLEA operatives in a separate operation raided suspected violent extremists/drug peddlers hideouts in Ethiope East and Sapele LGAs of Delta State. During the operations, troops arrested 5 suspected violent extremists and recovered substances suspected to be cannabis sativa amongst other items.

“In the South East, troops of Operation Udoka neutralized 21 terrorists, arrested 45 violent extremists and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages.

“Troops recovered one locally made pistol, 2 IEDs, 22 live cartridges and 3 mobile phones amongst other. All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.

“On 7 May 2024, troops while on separate patrol operations discovered an abandoned bag containing one locally fabricated pistol, 22 live cartridges, 2 IEDs, one metal file and assorted charms in Isiala-Ngwa North and Orsu LGAs in Abia and Imo States respectively.

“On 8 May 2024, troops while conducting fighting patrol arrested 18 violent extremists/IPOB/ESN collaborators and sympathizers in Orsu LGA of Imo State. Troops also recovered Biafran currencies, CCTV cameras and 3 mobile phones.

“On 7 May 2024, following tip off, troops while on patrol arrested one suspected violent extremist/cultist informant in Akpabuyo LGA of Cross River State.”

Gen Buba added, “Troops are fighting admirably in a very challenging complex combat environment and have made significant progress. However, there is still a lot of work ahead as there are still many more terrorists to kill, weapons to be recovered and many terrorist commanders and leaders to take off the battlefield.

“On the ground troops continue to demonstrate stamina, resolve and strong desire to remain focused and stay the course until the enduring defeat of the terrorists and their cohorts in order to diminish their ability to conduct acts of terror or harm citizens.”