Two top leaders of the bandits terrorising the North-west region have reportedly been killed in an air strike by Nigerian armed forces on New Year day.
PR Nigeria reports that the wanted bandit leaders, Alhaji Auta and Kachalla Ruga, were killed in a forest in Zamfara State.
Defence spokesperson, Benjamin Sawyer, could not be reached for comments immediately.
PRNigeria, which has close links with the military, said the notorious bandit commanders were killed after a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft, under Operation Hadarin Daji, “acted on credible intelligence, and bombarded their enclaves, in Gusami Forest and Tsamre Village in Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of Saturday”.
It quoted familiar sources as saying bandits who later converged on late Auta’s residence for his burial “were also struck by missiles of the military jet, with an unconfirmed number killed in the process”.
It said the follow-up airstrikes “conducted by the NAF fighter aircraft on fleeing bandits and those who took cover under trees within the area resulted in heavy casualties on the side of the bandits”.
“For now, the whereabouts of other notorious bandits like Alhaji Nashama, Shingi and Halilu who may either be incapacitated or on the run remain unknown,” the report added.
Mr Sawyer did not respond to calls and SMS sent to his mobile telephone by PREMIUM TIMES requesting confirmation.
Zamfara and others states in the North-west and North-central regions, especially Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger,
have been experiencing attacks by bandits who kidnapped and sometimes kill their victims.
The bandits invaded some schools in the states and abducted their students, some of whom have released after ransom was reportedly paid. Some of the students are still in their captivity.
The military recently said it had recorded some success against the bandits in the recent times.
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