Military Troops Hit Bandits Terrorising Kaduna-Abuja Expressway
Nigerian military troops on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 carried out several attacks on numerous hideouts used by bandits that have been terrorising the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway.
Defense Headquarters spokesperson, Major General John Enenche, said in a statement on Wednesday, November 18 that many bandits were killed in a joint offensive operation by land and air components of Operation Thunder Strike. He didn’t state a specific figure of fatalities.
The bandit hideouts that were hit were located around the Kuku area of Kagarko Local Government Area along the Kaduna State axis of the expressway.
Enenche said the operation was executed based on credible intelligence reports indicating a cluster of huts and other structures served the fighters of a notorious bandit known as ‘Major’.
He said, “The first wave of the Air Component’s air strikes, which involved 6 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft undertaking 5 missions in a total of 13 sorties, commenced at dawn and targeted the cluster of huts housing ‘Major’.
“The attack aircraft hit some of the target structures and neutralised some of the bandits.
“The second wave of attacks was executed by NAF helicopter gunships which, while continuing to engage the bandits’ location, also provided close air support to the Land Component as they advanced from Kagarko via Kuku into the bandits’ enclave.
“This paved way for the ground troops to overrun and destroy the camp without effective resistance from the bandits.”
The Kaduna-Abuja Expressway has been a hotspot for bandits for several months, with attacks leading to abductions and killings.
Nine students of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria were abducted while travelling to Lagos on the Kaduna-Abuja expressway on Sunday, November 15.
The bandits also shot at many motorists on the expressway, killing at least two people.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, on Tuesday, played down the menace of the bandits, assuring Nigerians that they have been degraded.
“What they are doing is just hit-and-run kind of tactics.
So, we don’t see any sign of them coming to take over or overpower, I think they have been well degraded and they are just trying to show their presence in a very cowardice manner,” he said.
Bandits killed over 1,100 people in rural villages in the north between January and July 2020 alone, according to Amnesty International in a report published in August.