Ban­ditry: Army be­gins op­er­a­tion in Zam­fara

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Shehu Umar, Gusau

The Nige­rian Army has de­ployed troops with heavy weaponry to Zam­fara State as part of prepa­ra­tions for Army Day cel­e­bra­tion 2016 and launch­ing of op­er­a­tion Harbin Ku­nama to rid the state of armed ban­dits.

Brief­ing news­men in Gusau, the act­ing Direc­tor, Army Pub­lic Re­la­tions, Colonel Sani Us­man Kukasheka said they were aware that the armed ban­dits had started flee­ing the forests, but that all steps were be­ing taken to block their pas­sage.

Colonel Kukasheka said that this year's event would be a two-edged one in the sense that mil­i­tary ex­er­cise would in­clude an op­er­a­tion to get rid of the armed ban­dits and other crim­i­nals. He said Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari would be ex­pected to launch the event to­mor­row.

Troops were seen camp­ing with their heavy fight­ing equip­ment at the Gusau airstrip in prepa­ra­tion to launch ma­jor of­fen­sives against the armed ban­dits and cat­tle rustlers that have been ter­ror­iz­ing the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in the last five years.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Tukur Yusuf Bu­ratai, said when he paid a cour­tesy call on the Emir of Gusau, Al­haji Ibrahim Bello that the Nige­rian Army was ready to tackle the men­ace of cat­tle rustling and armed ban­ditry not only in Zam­fara but in the whole of North-West zone.

He said some of the ac­tiv­i­ties mark­ing the day would be launched in Dansadau Dis­trict, that the ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude com­bat air-borne jump and equip­ment dis­play.

The Emir of Gusau, Al­haji Ibrahim Bello, wel­comed the de­vel­op­ment and called for the Army's im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion for the restora­tion of peace and se­cu­rity in the state.

In May this year more than 3,000 res­i­dents were dis­placed from three vil­lages in Dansadau Dis­trict fol­low­ing deadly raids on their com­mu­ni­ties by the armed ban­dits.

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