Air Force neutralises armed bandits in Zamfara

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has carried out another series of successful operations against armed bandits in the Northwest of the country.

Air Task Force (ATF) for Operation Diran Mikiya neutralised Bandits in Sububu Forest, Birnin Magaji and Rugu Forest in Zamfara State in a recent air interdiction/armed reconnaissance missions conducted in the areas.

The Director Public Relations and Information, NAF Air Commodore, Ibikunle  Daramola said the combat resulted into the neutralisation of armed bandits in Sububu Forest, Birnin Magaji and Rugu Forest in Zamfara State.

Bandits’ hideout
Daramola said the attack at Sububu Forest was executed following the discovery of a bandits’ hideout within the Forest.

He said the ATF had conducted a co-ordinated clearance operation involving NAF Special Forces at a suspected armed bandits’ camp on the outskirts of Galadi in the Northwest of Zamfara State.

During this operation, the bandits were discovered to have vacated the camp and dispersed into the nearby Sububu Forest.

Destroy the bandits
Consequently, the ATF dispatched a combat aircraft for armed reconnaissance to seek out and destroy the bandits.

The aircraft subsequently spotted a large number of bandits within the Forest and neutralised them.

Similarly, a combat helicopter on a reconnaissance mission spotted a group of bandits, armed with automatic weapons and mounted on motorcycles, at a location about 6km Northeast of Birnin Magaji in the Eastern part of Zamfara State.

Reports had it that the armed bandits were advancing for an attack on Birnin Magaji.

Daramola said another helicopter gunship was scrambled to provide additional combat support. Both helicopters effectively engaged the armed bandits and neutralised many of them.

The ATF conducted another successful attack that neutralised armed bandits at Rugu Forest on Saturday.

He said the mission was initiated based on credible intelligence that a location on the fringes of Rugu Forest near Ajia, in the Eastern part of Zamfara State, was being used by the bandits as a logistic staging area for the supply of arms and ammunition.

Helicopter gunship
Daramola said a fighter aircraft and helicopter gunship were dispatched to attack the location within the Forest and upon arrival, several armed bandits were seen on motorcycles.

They were attacked and neutralised in successive strikes by the 2 aircraft.

Daramola said Operation Diran Mikiya, which commenced on 31 July 2018, was an intensive air operation aimed at locating and neutralising armed bandits with a view to stopping killings, cattle rustling and other criminal activities in the Northwest.

He adds that the NAF continues to solicit useful information from the general populace to facilitate the success of the operation.

Lateefah Ibrahim