Following the abduction of some commuters along Abuja-Kaduna expressway a few days ago, troops attached to the Land and Air Components of Operation THUNDER STRIKE have identified bandits’ camp around Kuku area of Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
It was gathered that the troops, in a joint offensive operation on Tuesday killed scores of bandits in the area and they launched a manhunt for the criminals’ kingpin popularly known as ‘Major’ and other fighters that are yet to be neutralised.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operation, Maj. Gen. Enenche, who confirmed the killings of the bandits on Wednesday, said the operation was executed on the heels of credible Human Intelligence reports indicating that a cluster of huts and other structures at the location served as hideouts for a notorious bandits’ leader and his fighters.
He explained that the first wave of the Air Component’s air strikes, which involved six Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft undertaking five missions in a total of 13 sorties, commenced at dawn and targeted the cluster of huts housing “Major.”
Recall that the Kaduna-Abuja expressway has recently become the epicenter of kidnapping where no fewer than 15 persons were killed when 20 vehicles were stopped and scores of travellers abducted are still in the captive of the kidnappers.
Enenche added: “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. A NAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft remained airborne providing situational awareness for the troops throughout the operation.
“The Military High Command commends the Land and Air Components for their professionalism and urges them to remain resolute in the conduct of operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits.
“Furthermore, the Armed Forces of Nigeria sincerely appreciates the continued support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, as it keeps up the tempo of operations to defeat all enemies of the Nation.