Troops have killed nine suspected bandits along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway, the Kaduna State government has revealed.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incident in a statement on Tuesday.
He noted that the bandits were killed by troops securing the Kaduna-Abuja Road general area during a gun battle that began on Monday night and lasted till the early hours of the next day.
Aruwan who attributed the information to operational feedback stated that the soldiers acted on intelligence that the bandits were attempting to cross over from the eastern part of the Kaduna-Abuja Road to the western part, with a large herd of rustled cattle.
He disclosed that the herders whose cattle were rustled from the eastern part of the route alerted the military for immediate action.
The commissioner said an ambush was successfully laid by the troops, as the bandits walked into the killing zone.
According to him, the bandits were welcomed with a hail of bullets, leaving one of them dead while seven more died from ferocious gunshot wounds sustained in the ambush, as their bodies were mutilated.
Aruwan also disclosed that one empty magazine, two mobile phones, as well as sets of army camouflage and desert boots, among other items were recovered from the bandits.
In a separate operation on Tuesday morning, security operatives foiled an attempt by bandits to cross the Kaduna-Abuja highway with rustled cattle, this time around the Greenfield University.
The troops, guided by some local volunteers who helped them with the direction of the bandits’ movement, engaged the criminals in a firefight.
One of the local volunteers lost his life during the operation while a bandit’s corpse was found, along with several rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
Residents of villages around Jakada-Darabi, Gwanto, Kasarami, Kankomi, Chikwari, and neighbouring locations in Chikun and Kajuru Local Government Areas were asked to report any person found seeking medical attention for suspicious wounds.
On receiving the feedback, Governor Nasir El-Rufai congratulated the security agencies on the successful operations and urged them to sustain the tempo in the ongoing offensive against bandits.
He also sent his condolences to the family of the volunteer who lost his life and prayed for the repose of his soul.
The governor appealed to locals to always raise alarm in all cases and not only when they were directly affected, saying the fight against banditry involved everyone.