Bandits in disarray as military launches new offensive

Posted by News Express | 19 September 2021 | 763 times

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•Military troops


Though the military has kept mum on the ongoing offensive against the bandits in the North West, it was gathered that the criminals have suffered heavy casualties in the bombardment of their enclaves, especially in Zamfara.

Sources stated that the military is throwing in everything to end the menace of the bandits once and for all.

The bandits have carried sustained attacks on public and private schools where students were abducted for ransom.

The recent onslaught against the bandits may not be unconnected to the attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) where bandits killed two officers and abducted one.

According to sources, fortified enclaves of the bandits have been reduced to rumbles by military airstrikes, which resulted in the killing of hundreds of them.

Although the Defence Headquarters recently denied reports of mass burial of killed bandits, it was gathered that while the fighter jets bombarded their hideouts, troops and vigilante groups ambushed those fleeing the theatre of operation.

When contacted on the status of the ongoing operations, the Director Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyerr, said it will be premature to give information on the operations at this stage.

According to him “Operations are ongoing in that area and there is total shut down of GSM communications; our troops are consolidating on successes recorded so far. Information on operations ongoing will be premature at this stage.

“Let us all join voices in ensuring out troops once and for all deal with the menace of insecurity in the NW and NC. They need not be distracted,” he said.

Further giving insight into the ongoing operations, a military source that craved anonymity, disclosed the element of surprise is largely responsible for the decimation of the bandits.

According to the sources, military operations in the past were publicised to the extent that the terrorists knew about military tactics before hand and plan counter measures.

In Zamfara State, the special operation is recording great success because it was shielded from the media, “another aspect of the counter insurgency campaign that most people don’t know about is the fact that the Nigerian military is constrained by some clauses in the use of arms imposed by the manufacturers.

“For instance, when you classify terrorists into insurgents, bandits and separatist agitators, you can’t deploy equal force against them, otherwise you will be accused of Human Rights violation.

“This has been a major challenge that the military has been contending with. When some foreign organizations that does not have sufficient knowledge of the war report that the troops are engaging in extrajudicial killings and use of excessive force against unarmed civilians, this has made it difficult to procure weapons for the fight.

“But the fact is that the military respects rule of engagement and international best practices but certain elements that are sympathetic to the terrorists engage some of the organisations to make spurious allegations against the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN),” a military source confided.

Meanwhile there are reports that the bandits are also daring in their response to the military onslaught.

(The Nation)

Source: News Express

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