Nigerian army kills 48 bandits, rescues 18 abductees
Army says offensive will continue until Zamfara State, neighboring northwestern states cleared of armed gangs
The Nigerian military killed 48 armed bandits and rescued 18 abductees after dismantling a number of bandits' camps in Nigeria's northwestern Zamfara State, the army said on Monday.
Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yarima, in a statement on Monday, stated the first phase of the Operation Tsare Mutane took place from March 23 to April 2 in the Maradun area of Zamfara State.
The troops successfully cleared many bandits' camps in Jaya, Kadaya and Bayan Ruwa areas and "neutralized" 48 bandits, the statement said, adding the notorious bandit leader known as 'Jummo' sustained a gunshot wound.
The troops rescued 18 abductees after heavy exchange of fire. Some of the bandits fled to the thick forest, leaving behind eight AK-47 rifles, one G3 rifle, and a machine gun.
Meanwhile, in the second phase of the operation carried out from April 19 to May 3, troops cleared several bandits' camps around Gabiya, Bozaya and Mereri and the adjoining forests in Maru area of Zamfara State.
Several bandits were "neutralized" and a large quantity of arms were recovered during the operation.
The Nigerian army chief congratulated the troops on the successful operations, saying the offensive will continue until Zamfara and neighboring states are stabilized and cleared of armed gangs.