The Nigerian Army has said its soldiers shot dead four bandit commanders and 48 other bandits in a clearance operation in Zamfara State in the North-West region of the country.
The army stated on Monday that it also rescued 18 persons held hostage by them in the first phase of its newly launched Operation Tsare Mutane, to flush out the criminals.
The four bandits’ top commanders were; Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari, while the bandits leader in the area Jummo sustained gunshot injuries.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, in a release obtained by SaharaReporters, said, “Troops of 8 Division, Nigerian Army operating in Zamfara and adjoining states made tremendous progress in the ongoing fight against banditry and other violent crimes in the North West. The division had earlier launched Operation Tsare Mutane following the directives of the Chief of Army Staff for the division to stabilise the area in order to facilitate the return of socio-economic activities.
“The General Officer Commanding of the division, Maj Gen Usman Yusuf launched the first phase of Operation Tsare Mutane which lasted from 23 March to 2 April 2021 in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State.
“The troops successfully cleared many bandits’ camps in Jaya, Kadaya and Bayan Ruwa amongst several others. The troops successfully neutralised 48 bandits while the bandits leader in the area, Jummo, sustained gunshot wound to his leg. The troops rescued 18 kidnap victims from the bandits’ enclave. Moreover, eight AK-47 rifles and one G3 rifle, as well as one PKT and a Machine Gun were recovered from the Bandits.
“Meanwhile, in continuation with the second phase of Operation Tsare Mutane, troops sacked several other bandits’ camps around Gabiya, Bozaya and Mereri and the adjoining forests in Maru LGA of Zamfara State from 19 April to 3 May 2021. The areas which were heavily infested by bandits were successfully cleared by the highly spirited troops. Key bandits’ leaders including Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari were neutralised in the process.
“Items recovered in the second phase of Operation Tsare Mutane include 4,600 rounds of ammunition, two AK-103 rifles, eight AK-47 magazines, 1,628 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, fifty four rounds of PKM as well as one motorcycle and five Techno mobile phones.”