The Sokoto State Police Command yesterday confirmed that bandits attacked Giyawa village in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State killing four persons.
Spokesperson for the command, ASP Ahmed Rufai, in a statement said now fewer than 18 persons were initially abducted by the assailants that carted away valuables including livestock.
Rufai said seven of the abductees later escaped and returned to their community where many residents have fled for safety.
The police said their personnel were on the trail of the assailants, adding that they were making efforts to ensure normalcy was restored to the affected community.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday said that its troops across all theatres of operations, killed no fewer than 151 terrorists, arrested 456, and nabbed 45 perpetrators of oil theft, in one week.
The military also disclosed that troops of Operation Delta Safe, uncovered and destroyed 89 illegal refining sites, 21 dugout pits, 56 boats, 138 storage tanks, 235 cooking ovens, six pumping machines, one outboard engine, two speedboats, and the sum of N13,950.
Director Defence Media Operations, Maj-Gen Edward Buba, who made this disclosure, while briefing Defence Correspondents in Abuja also revealed that troops recovered about 1,205,950 litres of stolen crude oil, 452,910 litres of illegally refined AGO, 22,650 litres of PMS and 3,000 litres of DPK.
He said the perpetrators of the terrorist and insurgency activities are using it in the form of a guise for their gain through illegal mining and other unlawful activities.
He said, “The upsurge in anti-illegal oil bunkering operations by troops of Operation Delta Safe in the South-South region has yielded desirable outcomes. This is indicative by the appreciable improvement in the country’s daily crude production”.
Troops, he said, also rescued 76 kidnapped hostages and denied oil theft of the sum of N1.01bn only.
“Furthermore, troops recovered 216 assorted weapons and 443 assorted ammunition. The breakdown is as follows: 62 AK47 rifles, seven pump action guns, 19 dane guns, 3 berreta pistol, 10 locally fabricated rifles, five locally made pistols, 399 IED detonator primers, 225 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 10 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 13 round of 9mm ammo, 20 rounds of 7.62mm x 54mm, 57 cartridges, 49 magazines, 21 vehicles, four motorcycles, one tricycle, three mobile phones and the sum of N3,194,450.00,” he said.
Buba also revealed that the foot soldiers carry out the illegal mining from mining pits, while their sponsors are in the cities and towns, moving around as normal citizens to dispose of the proceeds.
The situation, he said, underscores the importance of ongoing military operations which is critical to the nation’s effort to achieve peace and security.
The Armed Forces, he said, would remain focused on the conduct of its operations in support of national security interests.
According to him, “The priority of our operations is the protection of the citizens as well as villages, towns, and cities from the senseless violence of terrorist and other violent extremist groups.
“Accordingly, our activities in Operation Hadin Kai in the North-East have effectively curtailed Boko Haram and other terrorist activities in the region. This is indicative of the large-scale surrender of members of the terrorist groups and the submission of a large cache of arms and ammunition.
“Similarly, the operational activities of troops in Operation Hadarin Daji and Operation Whirl Punch have made significant impact to curtailed banditry and insurgency in the North West and North Central Regions of the Country.
“Additionally, the criminalities perpetrated in the Southeast region by the Indigenous People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network is being brought to the barest minimum through activities of troops of Operation Udoka, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders”.
Noting that the military was up to the challenge, Buba said the ongoing operations reflect the commitment of the military to end terrorism and insurgency in the country.