By James Abraham
Troops in charge of maintaining peace in Plateau State on Tuesday said the special military Taskforce has in the past week neutralised seven bandits and arrested 33 others in various operations across the state and parts of neighbouring Kaduna State.
The Spokesman for the Military Taskforce, Captain Oya James, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
James said the troops also rescued 15 kidnap victims and foiled attacks in three vulnerable communities during the period.
According to him, on the 13th of November 2023, troops acting on a tip-off, arrested Mr Suleiman Mohammed in possession of one AK 47 rifle and a mobile phone, in the Bakin Kogi area, Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State.
James also said troops, on the 13th of November 2023, equally arrested five suspects in connection with a criminal attack on Mr Sati Pewat on his farm at Tileng Paat village in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.
He added that on 14th November 2023, troops conducted a raid operation at Tileng Paat village in Pushit district of Mangu LGA, Plateau State, and arrested one Umurana Adamu in possession of an AK 47 rifle, one magazine, and 9 rounds of 7.62mm special.
“Similarly, on 14 November 2023, troops acting on credible information arrested a suspected arms dealer, Mr Rufai Abdullahi at Kamuru area in Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State.
“On 14 November 2023, troops while on fighting patrol made contact with bandits at Kachallah high-ground and engaged them with superior firepower resulting in the neutralisation of 6 bandits while others escaped with gunshot injuries.
“Troops further explored the area and recovered one AK 47 rifle, 2 magazines, 52 rounds of 7.62mm special, one motorcycle, 2 Tecno phones, 2 packs of cigarettes, 56 rounds of 7.62mm Special, and 112 rounds of 7.62mm NATO.
“In another development, On 14 November 2023, troops neutralised a suspected bandit, Musa Wada during a search operation at Kondo village. Additionally, on 14 November 2023, troops responded to information on a planned attack by suspected militias on Tileng Paat village in Mangu LGA of Plateau State. Troops’ timely response averted the attack and the area was subsequently dominated by patrol.
“In all, between 13 to 20 November 2023, a total of 33 suspects were arrested in connection with various crimes within the last week. Five were arrested for kidnapping, 6 for dealing in arms, 2 for murder, 4 for railway vandalism, and 2 for farm destruction, while 7 bandits were neutralised. Additionally, 15 kidnapped victims were rescued, 3 attacks on vulnerable communities were deterred and 8 distress calls were promptly responded to,” the statement read.
The statement reiterated the commitment of Operation Safe Haven led by its Commander, Major General AE Abubakar, and other security agencies to the protection of law-abiding citizens in Plateau, Southern Kaduna, and Bauchi States by all legitimate means.