The Nigerian military has killed many bandits and destroyed their camps in some forests in Chikun and Birnin Gwari local government areas of Kaduna State.
This was contained in an operational report from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to the Kaduna State Government on Friday.
Commissioner of Internal Security and Homeland Affairs in the state, Samuel Aruwan, made this known in a briefing.
The strike was done by the air component of Operation Thunder Strike during a series of aerial missions across several locations in Kaduna State.
According to Aruwan “many bandits were killed and their camps destroyed in the air raid.”
The number of bandits that were killed remains unknown as the time of filing this report.
“Armed reconnaissance was conducted over Erena, Kusasu, Kuduru, Kulefe, Kusherki and Shiroro in neighboring Niger State as well as Chikun and environs, in Chikun local government area. Bandits were seen fleeing Kaduna State part of Kusasu (in Chikun LGA) on motorcycles. They were trailed by the crew and subsequently neutralised (killed).
“Following this, armed reconnaissance was conducted along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway, Olam Farms, Rugu, Akilbu, Polewire Rijana, Katari, Jere and adjoining settlements. Normal human activities and free flow of traffic were observed along the highway and rail line. All locations scanned were reported calm with no threats observed.
“Additionally, strike aircraft carried out operations over Jan Birnin, Birnin Gwari local government area which was observed to be active with bandits. The targets were attacked by the aircraft, and was subsequently confirmed that some bandits were indeed taken out and the camp set ablaze and destroyed.
“A second mission was flown over another identified camp in the area, which was also attacked, set ablaze and completely destroyed by two strike aircraft.
“Thereafter, a show-of-force was carried out by the aircraft over the Birnin Gwari general area, Kaduna metropolis and Zaria. Normal human activities were observed along the expressways and rail lines.
“The operations continued as aircraft conducted armed reconnaissance and show-of-force over Birnin Gwari, Kaduna metropolis and Zaria. Free flow of traffic was similarly observed along the expressways and rail line. Normal activities were reported within the metropolis as citizens observed the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations without incident.
“Afterwards, a show-of-force was conducted over Gwagwada, Gadani, Chikun, Kusasu, Iburu, Zamba, Shiroro, Kuta, Kwatayi and Erena, spanning Chikun, Kachia and Kajuru LGAs. All locations covered were reported calm with no threats observed.
“These air operations, which include air interdiction, armed reconnaissance and patrols are set to be sustained over the coming days over Kaduna metropolis and other areas of interest in the state. Major highways will also be covered, including the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari, Kaduna-Abuja, Kaduna-Zaria, Kaduna-Kachia and Kaduna-Afaka roads.
“Receiving the feedback, Governor Nasir El-Rufai commended the crew for the successful missions, and thanked them for their proactive operations,” he said.
Governor El-Rufai during a webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Groupon last week Thursday, said the government had planned to attack the terrorists who kidnapped students in the state, even if it meant losing some of the victims in the process.
The governor said the loss of lives of kidnapped victims would only be collateral damage and a price he would be willing to pay instead of paying ransom to the criminals.
Time and again, he had reiterated that he would never negotiate with bandits.