The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Friday said troops of operation Whirl Stroke have arrested several gunmen and recovered weapons in Nasarawa, Plateau and Kaduna states.
Bernard Onyeuko, DHQ spokesman, in a statement said those arrested include “notorious kidnappers who have been terrorising residents” in different parts of the states.
Onyeuko said the troops conducted a raid on kidnappers’ hideouts across the states, which resulted in the rescue of kidnap victims and seizure of weapons.
“Toops of Operation Safe Haven on 3 and 4 August, 2022, based on actionable intelligence arrested 3 suspected notorious kidnappers; Mr Umar Zakari, Mr Usman Hamina and Mr Haruna Umaru at Fuskar Mata village Bassa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The suspects confessed to having been involved in kidnapping activities in mentioned Local Government Areas,” the statement reads.
“Also, on 3 August, 2022, troops responded to a distress call from locals in Qua’anpan Local Government Area Plateau State of 4 kidnappers in a hotel hideout attempting to move people away.
“Troops mobilised to the scene engaged criminals and neutralised 1 kidnapper, Mr Umar Muhammed. Items recovered include 1 AK-47 rifle, 10 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition among other items.
“Relatedly, on 2 August, 2022, troops on patrol recovered 100 vandalised rail sleepers in an abandoned white Peugeot Boxer with Registration No AGL 466 XM at Bak village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State. All recovered recovered items are in custody.
“Also, on 4 August, 2022, troops also conducted a rescue operation at Kasuwa Ali in Gindiri District Mangu LGA and subsequently rescued 2 kidnapped civilians, Mr Ebuka Nnadi, 30 years, and Mr Uchenna Edoga, 25 years. The rescued civilians have been reunited with their families.
“Notably, on 29 July 2022, based on credible intelligence, troops conducted a clearance operation at Tse-Ibor, Tse Igbakyor, Akwana and Ayinbe villages in Logo Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and made contact with terrorists. In the encounter troops responded with superior firepower, forcing terrorists to flee.”
Onyeuko said following the clearance operation in Nasarawa, two suspects — Danladi Selfa, 23 years old, and Usman Yau, aged 28 — escaped with gunshot wounds, but were later arrested at a private hospital.
He said weapons, including one AK-47 rifle, one magazine with 13 rounds of 7.62mm, among other items were recovered from them.
According to the defence spokesperson, on the same day, troops in collaboration with locals raided Kukyro village in Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa state, and arrested one Moses Aindigh, aged 27, and alleged to be a “terrorist and bandit collaborator”.