The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria from May 20, 2021 to January 6, 2022, neutralised 1,910 criminal elements including terrorists, armed bandits and robbers as well as kidnappers across the country.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, said troops also rescued 729 kidnap victims across the country.
The DHQ spokesperson disclosed this in Abuja during the biweekly update on Armed Forces of Nigeria operations across the country on Thursday.
He said the feat was in addition to scores of other terrorists and armed bandits killed during airstrikes within the period.
Gen. Onyeuko said the troops within the period under review recovered 13,201,300 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil and 3,969,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene.
He stated further that 38,582 barrels and 6,491,000 litres of stolen crude oil as well as 11,659,500 litres of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were recovered and handed appropriately.
“Additionally, a total of 912 criminal elements were arrested, while large cache of arms and ammunition as well as livestock among other items of economic and security concerns were recovered by the troops during the period.
“Gleaning from the available information as I have just presented, there is no gain saying that our operational performance for the year 2021 shows our commitment to ensure peace is restored in the country.
“It shows the synergy between the Nigerian military and other Security Agencies is succeeding in tackling the security challenges facing the Country. We will continue to sustain the offensive and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled zone in Nigeria,” he said.
He, therefore, assured Nigerians of Armed Forces of Nigeria’s commitment to protect lives and properties as well as economic assets anywhere, with renewed vigour this year.
Gen. Onyeuko thanked members of the public for their support and further solicit everyone’s cooperation towards providing credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in Armed Forces’ operations.
The Military High Command also commended all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their resilience, doggedness and commitment.
Giving the breakdown, he said troops of Operation Hadin Kai conducted series of activities in Operation HADIN KAI theatre which resulted in the neutralisation of 950 terrorists including their high-profile Commanders and Amirs.
The DHQ spokesperson said 79 terrorists were arrested and 113 kidnapped civilians were rescued by the troops of Operation HADIN KAI within the period.
The troops recovered 195 assorted arms including AK-47 rifles, GPMGs, PKT guns and locally fabricated guns from terrorists.
Also, 2,385 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 253 rustled livestock were recovered, while a total of 14 gun trucks of the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the operations, while 16 gun trucks were captured by troops within the period.
Furthermore, 24,059 terrorists and their families comprising 5,326 adult males, 7,550 adult females and 11,183 children have so far surrendered to own troops in the North East.
He said all surrendered elements have been properly profiled and handed over to appropriate authorities for necessary actions.
In the North-West, he said troops neutralised 537 armed bandits and other criminal elements while 374 criminal elements including armed bandits and their collaborators as well as armed herdsman and robbers were arrested.
They also recovered 227 assorted arms, including AK-47 rifles, PKT machine guns and GPMGs as well as 4,443 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 3,250 rustled livestock among other items and vehicles were recovered.
Meanwhile, 238 motorcycles and 118 extra rifle magazines were recovered, while 452 kidnapped civilians were rescued by troops in the course of the operations.
“This is in addition to several other feats recorded during air offensives executed on bandits’ enclaves by the Air Component.
“Recent among prominent air offensives were concurrent air strikes executed on bandits’ enclaves at Gusami Forest and West Tsamre village in Birnin Magaji LGA of Zamfara State, which led to the neutralization of scores of armed bandits.
“The feats were recorded in the early hours of 3 January 2022 on the heels of credible intelligence, which revealed the locations of 2 key bandits’ leaders, the notorious Alhaji Auta and Kachalla Ruga.
” Consequently, a force package of NAF platforms were dispatched to takeout the enclaves, which resulted in the neutralization of the leaders as well as their cohorts. In addition, several other armed bandits fleeing from the hit of the air strikes, were killed during follow up strikes. No fewer than 100 armed bandits were neutralized in the encounter,” he said.
In a similar vein, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN arrested 1,771 criminal elements including armed bandits, armed herdsmen and livestock rustlers; while 109 armed bandits and other criminal elements were neutralized in action.
Also, 75 kidnapped civilians were rescued, while 1,306 livestock, 108 assorted arms including AK-47 rifles and locally produced guns as well as 493 rounds of different calibres of ammunition among other items were recovered in the course of the operations.
Furthermore, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE neutralized 168 criminal elements, while 127 of them, including migrant armed bandits were arrested.
The troops also recovered 118 different types of arms and 381 different calibres of ammunitions as well as 391 livestock while 33 kidnapped civilians were rescued within the period under review.
Relatedly, troops of Operation THUNDER STRKE/WHIRL PUNCH theatre killed 44 and arrested 46 criminal elements.
He said the troops operations also led to the recovery of 59 assorted arms, 12 extra AK-47 rifles magazines, 113 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and 16 motorcycles among other items in the course of the operations.
He added that 14 kidnapped civilians were rescued and reunited with their families within the period under review.
In the war against economic sabotage, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE working in conjunction with other Security Agencies recorded remarkable results in their efforts against economic sabotage and other sundry crimes in the South-South zone.
He said the troops discovered and immobilised a cumulative total of 145 illegal refining sites, 209 ovens, 122 cooking pots/boilers, 161 cooling systems, 224 reservoirs, 160 large dugout pits and 367 storage tanks in the Niger Delta Region.
Consequently, 12,846,300 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil as well as 29,237 barrels and 6,491,000) litres of stolen crude oil were recovered within the period.
Similarly, 3,969,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene; 10,200,500 litres of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit were recovered by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE.
Gen. Onyeuko added that troops recovered 33 assorted arms; 5,268 rounds of different calibres of ammunition and 21 AK-47 rifle magazines, while 3,110 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice, 662 pieces of galvanized pipes, 32 tanker trucks and 119 wooden boats used for illegal oil bunkering activities were impounded and handled appropriately in the course of the operations.
Also, 41 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 77 criminal elements associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested within the period. He said all the arrested criminals and recovered items have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.
Also troops of Operation AWATSE in the fight against pipeline vandals and economic saboteurs in the South-West Zone impounded 1,458,600 litres of illegally refined Premium Motor Spirit; 9,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 355,000 litres illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.
The troops recovered 1,594 rounds of ammunition and 14 assorted rifles,adding that 15 illegal refining sites were immobilized, while 12 boats and 13 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested.
Meanwhile, within the same period, 15 kidnapped civilians were rescued, while 28 criminal elements were arrested.