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AT least 70 bandits and cattle rustlers were killed by during a combined ground and air offensive by troops of Operation Thunder Strike in Gidan Maikeri village in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State, the Defence Headquarters said in a statement.
John Enenche, the DHQ Media Coordinator who revealed this in a statement on Twitter said the sting operation was carried out under Operation Accord that has troops of 312 Artillery Regiment and Local Vigilantes.
According to him, the operation followed a timely and credible information on the bandits movement within the area adding that troops pursued the bandits through Gidan Maikeri village into the forest
“Troops pursued the bandits through Gidan Maikeri village in Chikun LGA into the forest their location was identified and consequently engaged by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships, ” said Enenche, a Major General,
“After the air attack, 70 bandits were confirmed killed by human intelligence while others escaped with injuries. The troops are exploiting the forest with details to follow as they unfold.”
He also hinted that the military was still carrying out ground mop-up operations to ensure bandits who escaped from the initial attack are arrested.
Attacks by armed groups from hideouts in forests is frequent in Kaduna State as they utilise a lack of security across the forest to launch attacks.
The military intensified operations in February to conduct a sweeping operation aimed at armed gangs in several North West states according to a report.
In another development, Enenche said troops of Operation Yaki in checking positions for Operation Accord at outskirts of Kankomi village arrested two logistics suppliers for armed bandits.
Items recovered from the suppliers include recharge cards, cigarettes, soft drinks and groceries.
The operations spokesman said the arrested suspects were currently in the custody of the military in Kankomi while troops maintain vigilance in the area to forestall the escalation of violence.