Soldiers of the Nigerian Army are believed to have flushed out 45 bandits when they stormed Sububu Forest in Zamfara State, just as another set killed about 70 bandits in Niger State.
Security sources hinted that a coordinated strikes by air platforms and assault by ground forces under Operation Hadarin Dajiof from the Defence Headquarters, led to the eliminations of bandits who gathered for a meeting in Sububu Forest in Zamfara State.
It was gathered that local and foreign high profile bandit leaders were struck at the designated location which happened to be their leader, Halilu Tubali’s residence at the North of Sububu Forest.
A top military intelligence officer said that upon receipt of information of a planned gathering of the bandits at Sububu forest, the Air Component of the OPHD was immediately activated to initiate and maintain ISR missions over the Forest.
It further gathered that land forces within the vicinity of the forest were also alerted to prepare for an assault on the bandits once air strikes on their gathering are executed, just as the operatives of Department of State Security Setvice (DSS) kept surveillance on their movement.
The officer said: “at about 2.24pm on 6 Aug 21, intelligence filtered of the arrival of the bandits as well as the positive sighting of Halilu Tubali amongst a host of other high-profile targets.
“Subsequently, an Alpha Jets was dispatched to the target location. On sighting many of the bandits dressed in black, the Alpha Jet engaged with rockets in a first pass, neutralizing scores of them. The remnant bandits taking cover in a well camouflaged green roofed structure within the shrubs were equally neutralized.
“On a second pass, the aircraft targeted makeshift structures where remnants of the bandits were hiding and successfully decimated them.
“Few wounded bandits scampering in disarray after the strikes were promptly intercepted by ground troops who assaulted the location after the air strikes.
“The joint operation led to the successful neutralization of more than 45 bandits. It is still unclear if the bandit leader Halilu Tubali was killed in the air strike even though one of the bandits who was wounded in the strike confirmed the effectiveness of the strikes.”
Efforts to reach the new spokesman of Defence Headquarters, Major General Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyer for comment on the development were futile.
This came at the same time information filtered in that soldiers also flushed out 70 bandits and their logistics bases destroyed in their camps at Jasuwan Garba-Urege axis in Niger State.
A senior military officer involved in the operation said that the aircraft formation took turns in engaging the locations with rockets while fleeing bandits after the rocket strikes were mopped up with cannons.
“The camps were seen engulfed in flames after the strikes. Reports from locals disclosed that about 70 bandits including their logistics bases were destroyed.
Similar operations were recently executed by the air component at Kwawu and Uzawo all in Niger State,recording huge successes with several bandits killed.