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Military to review tactics against terrorists, bandits in 2021

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Kills 2,403 insurgents, rescues 864 hostages, recovers items

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), yesterday, hinted that the military would change operational tactics against terrorists and bandits in 2021.

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During the weekly media briefing yesterday in Abuja, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, put the number of insurgents, bandits and other criminal elements killed across theatres of operation nationwide in the outgone year at 2,403.

He said the figure excluded those neutralised during airstrikes.

Enenche continued: “The efforts and sacrifices of the gallant officers and men of the military as well as other security agencies that conduct these operations have been progressive. Within the period under review, troops engaged in a series of land, maritime and air operations, involving both kinetic and non-kinetic activities across the country.”

The coordinator said during the period, 864 hostages were rescued by soldiers, while 9,684,797 litres of stolen AGO, 33,516,000 litres of DPK were recovered in addition to the 1,910 criminal elements arrested and a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment confiscated.

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He noted that 46,581.8 barrels of crude oil and 22,881,257 litres of PMS were equally recovered by the armed forces in 2020.

Enenche went on: “The land operations conducted among others across the various theatres of operation included clearance, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search as well as artillery bombardments and aggressive patrols.

“Others were maritime operations involving anti-piracy, anti-illegal bunkering, anti-crude oil theft and anti-pipeline vandalism besides other duties such as anti-smuggling.

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“Furthermore, there were comprehensive air operations, including air patrols, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support and air cover for ground troops.”

He further said: “Although some of our officers paid the supreme prize in the course of the operations, our dogged troops have consistently exhibited gallantry and resilience in the various operations. Within the timeframe in focus, troops neutralised scores of terrorists and bandits, while many others were incapacitated and their camps destroyed.

“Our operations also inhibited activities of economic saboteurs, as well as exposed and obviated other criminal activities. In addition, several other criminal elements, including high profile ones, were either killed in action or arrested, sometimes together with their families, informants and gunrunners.

“Besides, there are records of scores of criminals surrendering due to troops’ overwhelming superior firepower and intelligence activities. Other feats recorded in the course of our operations were the rescue of kidnapped victims, prominent among which is the recent rescue of 344 schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, as well as the Islamiya children, all in Katsina State. Others were repelling and forestallment of terrorists and bandits’ attacks on civilians and troops.”

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