Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have shot dead two suspected bandits and arrested 150 others in Bukuyyum and Anka councils of Zamfara State.
The troops also recovered ammunition, including AK-47 rifles and Dane guns during the operation. Acting director, Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known during a press briefing at the Nigeria Army Special Super Camp IV in Faskari Council of Katsina State.
Onyeuko said the 150 suspects were arrested at an illegal mining site in Bukuyyum Council, reportedly used as a hideout. He said following the arrest, one of the suspects tried to escape, but was shot in the process.
The mining site is suspected to be harnessed and proceeds used to finance activities of bandits in the state, he added. His words: “On August 23, 2020, troops conducted a well-coordinated intelligence-based operation leading to the raid of an illegal mining site along Gadan Zaima/Zuru road in Bukuyyum, which also serves as bandits’ hideout.
“During the operation, troops arrested 150 suspects and recovered 20 locally-fabricated Dane guns. One of the suspects was neutralised while trying to escape.”
According to him, preliminary investigation reveals that aside sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through illegal mining activities.
The Guardian gathered that troops on patrol last Saturday encountered three bandits on motorcycles around Maigalma village in Anka Council of Zamfara State while attempting to attack innocent residents.
“During the encounter, one of the bandits was neutralised while others escaped. Troops recovered one AK-47 rifle and magazine loaded with five rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and two motorcycles from the fleeing bandits,” the army chief stated.