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Army kills 220 bandits in six months

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Loses six personnel, rescues 642 from kidnappers

The army has neutralised 220 suspected bandits, but lost six of its personnel, including two officers, since Operation Sahel Sanity commenced operation in July 2020.

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According to the military, the troops also rescued 642 kidnap victims – including the 344 students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara – during the period under review.

Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known while briefing newsmen on the activities of the operation, at the Nigeria Army Super Camp IV, Faskari, yesterday.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, launched Operation Sahel Sanity on July 6, 2020, to combat banditry and other forms of criminality in the North West as well as Niger State.

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The operation, which was supposed to wind up in December, was, a few days ago, extended to March 2020 by Buratai when he was at the operation’s unit in Faskari.

Onyeuko, represented by Col. Aliyu Illyasu, also said that 335 suspected bandits, 326 illegal miners, and 147 bandits’ informants and collaborators were apprehended during the same period.

“In all the operations conducted from July 1 to December 31, 2020, a total of 220 armed bandits were neutralised during combat with troops of Operation Sahel Sanity.

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“Additionally, 73 AK-47 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and 194 Dane guns were recovered from the criminals,” he said.

Equally, 5,032 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 568 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, and 156 live cartridges were also seized by the troops.

The gallant troops successfully foiled 165 bandits’ attacks and 81 kidnap attempts, Onyeuko disclosed.

On losses recorded, he said: “It is pertinent to note that a few setbacks were recorded as a result of engagements with bandits during operations within the period under review. Such is the regrettable loss of two officers and four brave soldiers who paid the supreme price in the cause of defending the dignity of our people.”

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