THE Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have confirmed the deaths of bandits’ leaders in Zamfara State during an airstrike on New Year’s day.
Spokesperson for the NAF Edward Gabkwet confirmed this to The ICIR during a telephone interview on Saturday.
Gabkwet said the bandits’ leaders were eliminated during an operation conducted by Operation Hadarin Daji.
“Yes, I can confirm that early this morning, our air craft under the Operation Hadarin Daji conducted some strikes in Zamfara State and I am aware that some key bandits’ leaders were killed. It’s a fact that on this New Year’s day, some strikes were undertaken and we are getting feelers that they were largely successful,” he said.
However, he noted that the NAF had not identified the bandits’ leaders who were killed in the operation.
“Although we have not been able to ascertain who and who, the most important thing is that this shows clearly that efforts are being made by the Air Force, the Army and other security agencies to make sure that we root the entire North-West of banditry and other criminal activities so that people can continue to go about their businesses in peace and without being threatened,” Gabkwet said.
According to a report, Alhaji Auta, a notorious bandit in control of Birnin Magaji Forest Zamfara, was eliminated in the airstrike.
Auta’s gang has also been indicted of working with the terrorist group Boko Haram, which has terrorised Nigeria for more than a decade.
Another bandit, Kachalla, who operates in the Tsamre Village in Birnin Local Government Area of Zamfara State, was also reported dead.
Zamfara and other Nigerian states have been under severe bandit attacks, most especially in the North-West region.
The bandits have been responsible for the killing, abducting, and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians, including children.