No fewer than 21 bandits were killed in an encounter with troops of ‘Operation Hadarin Daji’ in Zamfara, the Nigerian military said in a statement on Wednesday.
In the statement, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, said the encounter with the bandits took place on Monday at Zurmi in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.
Enenche said four soldiers, however, died during the encounter.
He said, “Troops of operation ‘Hadarin Daji’ in a fierce encounter neutralised bandits at Zurmi, Zamfara State.
“Meanwhile the troops in high morale, have commenced aggressive patrols in the area, for domination and confidence-building among the locals.
“After a fierce encounter, 21 bandits were neutralised and four of our troops paid the supreme price. Exploitation in progress.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria requests the general public to provide credible information on the bandits to assist the military to rid the country of the criminal elements,” Enenche said.
The incident occurred when some armed men ambushed dispatch trucks of the military between Birane and Garin-Karda village of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara.
A prompt reinforcement by the troops dislodged the invaders.
The Force Commander of OPHD who is also the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Sokoto, Brig.-Gen. Aminu Bande, has visited the scene to asses the situation.
HumAngle learnt that the troops recovered 10 AK47 rifles while fighter jets from the air force component of OPHD were deployed to the area to track the criminals.
Zamfara has been a hotbed of banditry with criminals regularly sacking communities, stealing from and killing local populations.
Activities of bandits in Zamfara and other states in the Northwest opened another front in Nigeria’s fight against terror and other crimes in recent times.