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Military kills 496 terrorists, bandits across North

By Kanayo Umeh, Mathew Ogune (Abuja), Wantu (Makurdi) and Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos)
07 May 2020   |   4:12 am
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday said 343 Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters had been killed by the military in counter-insurgency operations across the North East geo-political zone.

• Suspected herdsmen abduct, kill pregnant woman, husband in Blenue
• Plateau gunmen kill cleric, wife, children

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday said 343 Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters had been killed by the military in counter-insurgency operations across the North East geo-political zone.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, at a news briefing in Abuja, added that 153 armed bandits were also neutralised in parts of the North West and Central.He said the feats were recorded between March 18 and May 5 this year, adding that several captives had been rescued in the last four weeks.

The coordinator stated that the troops equally destroyed several logistics installations and networks belonging to the terrorists as well as arrested 16 high-profile informants.

Similarly, the DHQ said the Nigerian Navy, during its counter operations in the maritime domain, recovered 4, 486 barrels and 1.786 million litres of crude oil.

A further breakdown showed that 1,756,900 litres of AGO; 116,500 litres of DPK, and 11, 750 litres of petrol were also recovered.Enenche said during the navy’s Swamp Boogie operations, several refining ovens, receivers, surface metal storage tanks/drums, coolers and dugout pits were deactivated and immobilised in addition to the fishing trawlers confiscated and handed over to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

In all, he said 15 hostages were freed, a barge and some weapons retrieved and three pipeline vandals arrested. Besides, the coordinator hinted that three the Beninois, whose fishing trawler caught fire at Lagos anchorage, were equally rescued by the navy.

In addition, he said the navy responded to a distress call by its Beninois counterpart for assistance when 11 crewmen onboard a Portuguese container ship in Benin territorial waters came under attack by pirates.

According to him, among those salvaged were Ukrainians, Bulgarians and Filipinos. He also disclosed that 894 bags of 50kg of smuggled foreign rice were impounded at Agbami platform in Akwa Ibom State.

Besides, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herders in the early hours of yesterday abducted and killed a pregnant woman alongside her husband in Guma local council of Benue State. Governor Samuel Ortom is from the area.

The Guardian learnt from the locals that the well-armed nomads left their bodies in the nearby bush. Confirming the incident, the council chairman, Anthony Shawon, said the herdsmen attacked the community around 2am, killed the couple husband and abducted another.

Also contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Sewuese Anene, said she got information that two persons were killed in the local council, but did not know their identities.

In a related development, the founder of Calvary Ministries (CAPRO), Pastor Bayo Famonure, his wife and two children were also shot yesterday by gunmen in their home.

A source close to the family told journalists that the attackers, who were eight in number, stormed the Gana Ropp residence of the cleric in Barakin-Ladi council area of Plateau State in the early hours of yesterday.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Ubah Gabriel, who confirmed the incident, said the command had beefed up security in the community and was on the trail of the assailants.