The Nigerian Army said its soldiers of 8 Division operating in Zamfara and adjoining states have fighting bandits in the North West have neutralized 48 of them and rescued 18 persons held hostage in the first phase of its newly launched Operation Tsare Mutane, to flush out the criminals. Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, made the revelation, in a statement yesterday. According to Yerima, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Ibrahim Attahiru had directed the Division to stabilize the security situation in the zone to facilitate the return of socio-economic activities. He said the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Division, Usman Yusuf, launched the first phase of the operation that lasted from March 23 to April 2 in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara.
“The troops successfully cleared many bandits’ camps in Jaya, Kadaya, and Bayan Ruwa amongst several others.
“The troops successfully neutralized 48 bandits while the bandits' leaders in the area known as Jummo sustained a gunshot wound to his leg.
“The troops rescued 18 kidnap victims from the bandits’ enclave and recovered eight AK-47 rifles, one G3 rifle, one PKT, and a Machine Gun from the bandits,” said
Yerima added that key bandits’ leaders, including Yellow Mai-Bille, Sani Meli, Dan-Katsina, and Sama’ila Bakajin Bari, were also killed while the main leader known as Nasanda escaped with fatal injuries in the operation between April 19 and May 3, 2021.
Equally neutralized in the operation was one Isan Heshi who was said to be an ally of a notorious bandit known as Nagala.
According to Yerima, Isan Heshi was the second-in-command to Heshi before he joined Nagala following Heshi’s death in an earlier operation.
The Army spokesperson said the troops recovered 4,600 rounds of ammunition, two AK-103 rifles, eight AK-47 magazines, 1,628 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 54 rounds of PKM as well as one motorcycle and five Techno mobile phones in the second phase of the operation.