15 Soldiers Killed By Bandits In Katsina State
Bandits have reportedly killed three officers and 12 soldiers in an ambush in Faskari, Katsina State on Saturday.
It was gathered that 17 bandits were eliminated during the bloody exchange with the troops of 72 Para Battalion.
Bodies of the gallant troops were evacuated to the hospital in Katsina, pictures seen by The PUNCH on Sunday, indicated.
A source who was privy to the incident said, “The bandits attacked the troops of 72 Para Battalion while on patrol at Shimfida on Saturday. The ambush was bloody as the troops came under overwhelming firepower from the criminals. But the troops were able to resist the bandits killing 17 of them. Unfortunately, we lost 15 men comprising three officers and 12 soldiers.”
But the Army said only three soldiers paid the supreme price during the incident, noting that 17 bandits were eliminated by the troops of Combat Team 1, Operation Sahel Sanity with the support of the Air Task Force.
The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko, in a statement on Sunday, explained that five AK47 rifles, three dane guns, two AK47 rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and seven motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.
“Regrettably, one brave officer and two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while four other soldiers were wounded in action. However, the wounded in action soldiers are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility,” he noted.
It further disclosed that troops conducting fighting patrol along Faskari – Sheme – Dandume road in Katsina State, equally arrested five suspected bandits including one female.
It said one of the suspects, Bashir Usman, who claimed to be a policeman during interrogation could not validate his claim with any form of identification. He was apprehended with one AK47 rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition while riding on a motorcycle. Other items recovered from him include one handset and N6,050.
The troops also rescued 16-year- old Miss Hadiza Sani, abducted by bandits at Kuka Uku Village in Batsari LGA, Katsina state and another 10-year-old girl who was kidnapped while fetching firewood by two bandits riding a motorcycle at Bagega – Tudurki Forest.
Meanwhile, the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have neutralized six Boko Haram terrorists attempting to cross from Cameroon borders towards Sambisa axis.
Weapons and equipment captured from the terrorists include three AK47 rifles, magazine with 48 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one Honda salon car, motorcycle, eight bicycles, three phones with multiple SIMs and memory cards and five copies of the Holy Qur’an, among others.
Additionally, there was also a letter written in Hausa to a top Boko Haram commander, Abu Fatima, documents and other logistics.
According to a statement by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, shortly after the successful operation, the enemy communication intercept confirmed the killing of a top Boko Haram commander named Sayinna and other fighters during the encounter.
“The other slain terrorists were suspected to be Imam and Mansur to Abu Fatima who hibernate in Sambisa forest,” it added.
The statement said eight top terrorist commanders were killed during an encounter at Damasak and buried by the insurgents at Goski village in the early hours of July 3.