Nigerian soldiers have killed 58 armed bandits and captured one at Dumburum and Gando forests in Zamfara State.
The troops also rescued 75 victims abducted by the bandits after a gun battle that lasted hours, according to army authorities.
Two soldiers, and two members of the local vigilante group lost their lives during the confrontation.
According to a statement by Clement Abiade, Acting Force Information Officer Operation SHARAN DAJI, the army said the incident occurred on January 20 during an operation in the forest.
He said 18 camps operated by the bandits were destroyed.
He also added that those injured among the soldiers have been evacuated to the hospital for treatment while the rescued victims have reunited with their families.
He also listed the weapons recovered from the suspects.
The statement reads in part:
“On 20 January 2019, troops came into contact with a large gang of bandits armed with sophisticated firearms and rocket propelled grenades, leading to fierce gun battles which lasted several hours.
“The bandits were forced to abandon their camps due to superior firepower during these encounters. The casualty figures on the bandits’ side were 58 bandits neutralised, while one was captured alive.
“Troops also destroyed 18 camps and rescued 75 kidnapped victims held in some of these camps. The freed captives who were mostly from local communities in Zamfara State were debriefed and reunited with their families.
“Unfortunately, Operation SHARAN DAJI also suffered some casualties because so far, two gallant soldiers and two members of the vigilante paid the supreme prize (price).
“A total of eight soldiers and six vigilantes also sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries. Those who sustained injuries were evacuated to Federal Medical Centre, Gusau for medical treatment, while those with life threatening conditions were evacuated by air for specialist attention outside the theatre of operation.”
He added that items recovered from the bandits include: five Fabrique rifles, four AK 47 rifles,10 locally made rifles, one locally fabricated pistol and 40 motorcycles.