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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) disclosed this on Wednesday in a series of tweets on its official Twitter handle @DefenceInfoNG.
It said the suspected bandits were arrested during a patrol by the Joint Task Force Operation (JTF OPTS).
“Troops while on aggressive patrol along Abuja-Kaduna highway discovered a group of bandits dressed in military camouflage who would have been ordinarily perceived by unsuspecting members of the public as military personnel along the highway mounted an illegal road block,” the DHQ said.
The Defence Headquarters noted that the JTF OPTS has so far recorded some milestone successes, as several suspected kidnappers and bandits have been arrested, with arms and ammunition recovered from the criminals in the last two months of operation.
It added that Troops of JTF OPTS were able to identify a number of black spots along Abuja-Kaduna highway, such as Jere, Katare, Rijana, Kurmi-karshi, Gidan-mamman Black-gold and Gidan-guza where criminals unleashed attacks on unsuspecting and innocent road users.
The operations, the DHQ further stated operations led to the successful interception and arrest of 14 suspected kidnappers, while six bandits were neutralized.
Other recoveries made by the troops included seven motorcycles used by bandits and 695 cattle. The cows had been returned to their respective owners.
“The problems of insecurity orchestrated by kidnappers, bandits, cattle rustlers, and other criminal activities along major highways and adjoining villages around Kaduna-Abuja axis reached alarming proposition some few months back,” it said.
“This necessitated several security operations and exercises to assist the Nigerian Police in tackling these criminal menaces,” it added.
The Defence Headquarters under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen AG Olonisakin had constituted the Joint Task Force Operation (JTF OPTS) to address insecurities in the country.
“The operation had the mandate to reorganize and coordinate the existing security structures along the road and rail line in order to bring the situation under control,” said the troop.
“The JTF OPTS has recorded some milestone successes, as several suspected kidnappers and bandits have been arrested, with arms and ammunition recovered from the criminals in the last two months of operation,” it added.
So far, the Army has recovered a total of 38 firearms comprising, 11 AK 47 rifles, one Semi-automatic rifle, one Revolver Pistol, 23 Dane guns, two locally made pistols. Others are 157 rounds of 7.62 mm Special ammunition, eight cartridges, two AK 47 magazines, five Mobile phones and four solar panels.
The Defence Headquarters reassured Nigerians, particularly, inhabitants of Kaduna, Zamfara and the contiguous states that the military and the security agencies were fully committed to guaranteeing their safety and security.