After a recent meeting with Service Chiefs, military Commanders in charge of the ongoing anti-banditry operations in the North-West part of the country, have been ordered to ensure that troops under their supervision observe rules of engagement when dealing with bandits.
The security meeting and its outcome were not made public.
But a military source, who pleaded anonymity, told PRNigeria that information from the Theatre of Operation indicated that soldiers have been “merciless” in their encounter with armed bandits, especially in Zamfara State.
“Our ground troops have been very decisive and merciless towards armed gangs. Because of the nature of the mission, they have been admonished to protect the vulnerable, old people, women, and children during the onslaught,” the source said.
It was gathered that the disruption of telecom and restriction of movement which weakened activities of bandits’ informants, facilitated random and precision attacks by the troops on different camps of the bandits.
Meanwhile, the troops have also been warned to desist from using smartphones for sharing images and videos on the operations which could jeopardise the essence of the mission.
The source said personal cell phones and other electronic devices could reveal operational security.
“Some seemingly harmless images or videos shared on social media by soldiers, even of victories, can be harmful to the operation when they contain sensitive information that expose locations, movement, security measures and gory sights.
“Unfortunately, some of the images are of past and unrelated operations which the public and the media wrongly take such shared contents as official posts,” the source added.
The anonymous officer said besides considering operational security, the troops have been urged to always maintain professionalism.