The Defence Headquarters has lauded troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for their continued dominance over the terrorists in the North East, leading to a reduction in terrorist activities in the area.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, gave the commendation on Thursday in Abuja, while giving the weekly update on the activities of the military across theatres of operation.
Enenche said that the troops of the armed forces, in conjunction with other security agencies in the zone, had sustained the tempo of their operational activities.
He explained that the troops, between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14, conducted series of ground and air operations, including aggressive clearance, cordon-and-search operations.
Enenche said that the troops carried out sustained “Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance’’ missions as well as artillery and aerial bombardments on terrorists’ hideouts across the region.
“Categorically, troops forestalled the terrorists’ moves and also denied them freedom of action in the zone, leading to domination of the zone, causing some terrorists to flee from the Joint Operations Area.
“Consequently, there was reduction in the spate of their activities in the North East during the period.
“This is an evidence of troops’ superior operational capabilities.
“The successful feats achieved by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security operatives in the North East, to a large extent, are considered to be through the cooperation of the populace.
“Thus, the High Command of the Military thanks the general public for the support and cooperation.
“It further solicits cooperation towards providing credible and timely information on terrorists’ activities to facilitate proactive engagements in our operations.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to remain resolute and committed to end the insurgency and terrorism in the North East zone of the country,’’ he said.
In the North-West, Enenche said that the military and other security agencies had continued to intensify operations in their resolve to stamp out banditry and other sundry crimes.
He said that various operations were conducted in the zone to raid bandits’ camps in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara and adjoining states, during which scores of bandits were killed.
The coordinator added that many bandits and their collaborators were arrested, while dozens of kidnapped victims were rescued by the troops.
“On Oct. 12, troops of Operation Accord, acting on credible intelligence, arrested nine suspected bandits/collaborators at Dan Ali village in Danmusa Local Government Area of (LGA) Katsina State.
“Similarly, in a covert operation, based on credible intelligence, four suspected bandits, including a suspected bandits’ leader named Mujitafa Shehu, were arrested at Kankara and Tudu in Kankara LGA.
“In another development, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity rescued 23 kidnapped victims from fleeing bandits, who abandoned the captives along Zauni-Jengebe road in Gusau LGA of Zamfara.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the victims were kidnapped, while on transit to Magami market from Gusau in a passenger bus,’’ he said.
Besides, Enenche said that troops of Operation Thunder Strike, on Oct. 8, destroyed several bandits’ hideouts at Audu Jongom, Jekadarebi, Dutse and Gona-Bature villages and adjoining forest in Kaduna State.
He said that three kidnapped victims were rescued and two suspects arrested during the operation, while arms and ammunition were seized.
Enenche said that Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships and Alpha jets had continued to dominate the air space with aerial patrols, providing close air support for the operations of ground troops.
“From the operational estimate of these successes recorded within the period, it is clear that there is downward trend in the activities of bandits in the zone.
“Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, working with other security agencies, are committed in their endeavour to end banditry and other sundry crimes in the country,’’ he said.