TROOPS of the Nigerian armed forces have rescued 53 kidnapped hostages, neutralised 37 and apprehended 124 terrorists across the country in one week.
A statement by Director of Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, on Friday, October 20, disclosed that those apprehended included 95 suspected terrorists and their collaborators, as well as 19 individuals involved in oil theft in the Niger Delta region.
The troops, during the operations, recovered 100 assorted weapons and 1,207 assorted ammunition, which included 45 AK-47 rifles, 11 locally fabricated AK-47 rifles, six pump action guns, 12 dane guns and two AK-47 rifles loaded with 34 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo.
Others, according to Buba, included two locally made guns, two locally fabricated pistols, two locally made revolvers, 925 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 28 rounds of 9mm ammo, 157 live cartridges. and 23 magazines.
He also disclosed that 27 vehicles, 25 motorcycles and 38 mobile phones amongst others, were also recovered from the criminals.
Giving details of the operations, the DHQ spokesperson said that troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 20 terrorists, arrested 57 and rescued 16 kidnapped hostages in different operations across the North East.
Buba added that the troops also recovered 13 AK-47 rifles, five dane guns, four magazines, two fabricated guns, 203 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, eight motorcycles, four mobile phones, two bicycles, medical supplies, and assorted food items among others, adding that one Boko Haram terrorist, identified as Bulama Bukar, on Oct. 17, surrendered to troops in Gubio Local Government Area of Borno.
In the North Central region, he pointed out that Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) forces had eliminated three terrorists, apprehended 53 individuals, and successfully freed 16 kidnapped hostages through various operations conducted during that time.
During the operations, the troops also recovered three AK47 rifles, two AK47 rifle magazines loaded with 34 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, two fabricated AK47 rifles, 34 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 28 rounds of 9mm ammo and 37 live cartridges.
“Also recovered are 12 empty cartridges, four magazines, two motorcycles, two mobile phones, one Boafeng radio and charger, and the sum of N451,360,” the defence spokesman said.
He also said that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke neutralised two terrorists, arrested six and rescued 13 kidnapped hostages while recovering one dane gun, three mobile phones, eight bags of substances suspected to be cannabis and the sum of N114,500.
In the North West, Buba said troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 17 terrorists, arrested 10 and rescued 19 kidnapped hostages in raid operations carried out in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States and recovered several ammunition and motorcycles.
According to him, troops of Operation Whirl Punch eliminated 10 terrorists and arrested 31 others, while 10 kidnapped hostages were rescued.
In the South-South, he said the troops of Operation Safe Haven, apprehended 19 perpetrators of oil theft and destroyed 56 illegal refining sites, 42 dugout pits, 82 boats, 143 storage tanks, 234 cooking ovens, 61 hoses, 17 drums, one pumping machine, two outboard engines and one vessel.
In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDOKA neutralised four terrorists, arrested 21 criminals and rescued one kidnapped hostage in raids on IPOB/ESN hideouts.
Buba added that all recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.
“The military is in a good fight and is winning in this war. Our operations have killed or captured several terrorist and insurgent leaders as well as their facilitators and key associates. Accordingly, the insurgents and terrorists are in perpetual mourning as they constantly bury their dead and would continue to do so.
“Our communities across the country have risen to the occasion in exposing these elements and it is making a tremendous impact on operations as they no longer have a hiding place,” he said.