News Around Nigeria

Task force kills 805 terrorists, five Benue bandits

The Multinational Joint Task Force said it had eliminated about 805 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist fighters during clearance operations, which commenced in March this year.

It stated that it had initiated new strategies to fight insurgency, which were responsible for the feat recorded within the period.

The Force Commander, Major General Abdul-Khalifa Ibrahim, said the operation involved the land, maritime and air components to flush out Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters hibernating in the fringes of Lake Chad.

He spoke at the MNJTF headquarters in N’Djamena, Chad Republic.

The force commander said Nigerien, Nigerian, Chadian and Cameroonian and Beninese troops with four sectors and headquarters at N’Djamena participated in the operation.

Ibrahim stated, “We have carried out a series of operations in the past that gave us the impetus to go to where we have been unable to go before. We have killed quite a number of the criminals and the coordination with the air component is better.

“The fact that we are doing this has allowed the freedom of movement; it has allowed commerce to pick up; it has allowed people to be resettled in their villages, and it has allowed the community to become resilient.

“With the ongoing Operation Desert Sanity, we have carried out 17 major attacks, destroying many terrorists’ enclaves, killing 805 and over 4,000 of them have surrendered. Also, over 3,000 hostages have been rescued.

“Counter insurgency operations are people-centric, because we are fighting people that sometimes wear something that looks like a uniform. Yes, sometimes they wear something that looks like a uniform, but they are still difficult to identify. That’s why we have to be close to the locals; we are hoping that collaboration between troops and locals will bring an end to the insurgency in the area.”

He called on the governments of member countries to continue to support the troops with logistics and modern arms and ammunition to boost military operations.

Ibrahim advised the remnants of the insurgents and terrorists groups to lay down their arms and embrace the path of peace.

The Lake Chad region has been a battlefield since the commencement of insurgency in the region.

Similarly, troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke have killed five suspected bandits at the Untange Council Ward in the Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

However, a volunteer guard was killed by the bandits.

The incidents happened between Tuesday and Thursday when the bandits reportedly invaded Ayaghi village.

The Security Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom, Lt Col Paul Hemba (retd.), disclosed this to journalists in his office on Friday.

He said the first incident happened on Tuesday when some bandits invaded the Untange ward.

Hemba added that the combined team of the OPWS and community volunteer guards on patrol repelled the bandits.

“The next day, one of the community volunteer guards was cornered and killed by the bandits in reprisal and troops launched a counter attack against them and were able to neutralise three of them.

The security adviser said two of the bandits were killed on Thursday around 4pm.

“In all, five bandits were killed by troops, while bandits killed one volunteer guard, who was on patrol in the area,” he stated.

He decried the situation where local bandits were going into alliance with herdsmen to unleash terror on villagers.

The security adviser said with the efforts of the state government and security agencies, crime had reduced in the Katsina Ala area, adding that the state government might soon relax the embargo placed on the use of motorcycles and Toyota Corolla cars, popularly known as duck yanch, in the area.

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