Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters says troops of the armed forces of Nigeria have in the last three months, neutralised 817 terrorists, apprehended 1,326 criminals and rescued 721 hostages in different operations across the country.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made this known while briefing newsmen on military operations across the country on Thursday September 7, 2023 in Abuja.
Buba said those apprehended include 42 kidnappers, 231 terrorists’ collaborators, 33 armed robbers, 80 cattle rustlers, 325 militias, 27 rail vandals, 73 gunrunners and 191 suspected oil thieves.
He added that a total of 4,560 terrorists and their families surrendered to troops in the North East during the period.
He said that troops also recovered 501 weapons, 3,577 livestock, 3,269 assorted kinds of ammunition, and 674 other equipment within the period under review.
In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation HADIN KAI neutralised 240 terrorists, arrested 276 terrorists and collaborators, and rescued 147 kidnapped hostages, as well as surrender of 4,560 combatant fighters with their families to troops.
He said the troops also recovered 169 assorted weapons, 1,195 assorted ammunitions and 199 other equipment, comprising 57 AK47 rifles, one GPMG, 2 HK21 rifles, one FN rifle, one G3 rifle, one pistol, 22 dane guns, one double barrel, 73 AK47 magazines and three hand grenades.
“It also includes two LMG magazines, one RPG tube, two tear gas launchers, 674 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 500 rounds of 7.62mm x 54mm, 20 PKM rounds, one cartridge, two vehicles, 29 motorcycles, 47 bicycles, 18 mobile phones, 13 steering rod and pumps, five gear boxes and four boafeng radios and 158 livestock,” he said.
In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operation Safe Haven neutralised 94 terrorists, arrested 477 suspects and rescued 76 kidnapped hostages, as well as recovered 82 assorted weapons and 760 assorted ammunition.
The breakdown, according to him, includes 20 AK47 rifles, five revolvers, 27 fabricated rifles, six fabricated pistols, 13 dane guns, five pistols, two pump actions, six Ak47 magazines, 523 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 190 rounds of 5.5mm ammo, 31 rounds 9mm ammo, 18 cartridges and 1,722 livestock.
He said the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke also neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 104 suspects and rescued 18 kidnapped hostages and also recovered 37 weapons, 68 assorted ammunition and 127 items.
“Breakdown as follows: two AK47 rifles, one FN rifle, five locally fabricated pistols, two dane guns, one pistols, 15 AK47 magazines, two G3 magazines, two FN magazines, one GPMG barrel, one Ak47 barrels, three rifle butts and one locally fabricated bullet.
“In addition, troops recovered four woodland camouflage, 15 motorcycles, nine mobile phones, six vehicles, five cutlasses, two pairs of black boots, one fragmental jackets, one generator set, three knives, two machetes and one saw and metal,” he said.
In the North West, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 248 terrorists, arrested 116 suspected terrorists and rescued 359 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a total of 67 assorted weapons, 926 assorted ammunition and 160 other incriminating items.
In the South-South, he said the troops of Operation Delta Safe neutralised 69 combatants, arrested 191 oil theft collaborators and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages.
Baba said the troops also intercepted 6.6 million litres of stolen crude oil, 3.5 million litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 188,650 kerosine and 65,600 litres of petrol.
He said the troops also discovered and destroyed 249 boats, 28 pumping machines, and three vessels, as well as recovered a total of 51 assorted weapons,
In the South East, the defence spokesman said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 80 combatants, arrested 162 IPOB/ESN criminals and rescued 109 kidnapped hostages.
He said the troops also recovered 63 assorted weapons, 320 assorted ammunitions and 166 other incriminating items within the period under review.
According to him,it is clear from the operations that the terrorists and their cohorts have sustained a significant number of casualties and will continue to sustain even more casualties, as we move forward.
“The illusion by these groups to embark on terrorism or insurgency is laughable.
“Increasingly, they have become more of a criminal organization which is the reason they fight. They fight so that, they can keep profiting from criminal activities such as illegal mining, kidnapping, cattle rustling, illegal levies on fishing and farming communities and all other unholy forms of criminal inclinations.
“Indeed, if these groups don’t come to the table in peace, we will ceaselessly punish them with overwhelming military force and for those supporting them, they have picked the wrong side and will face similar fate as these criminals and murders,” he said.