No fewer than 213 bodies, comprising terrorists and their collaborators have been recovered days after intense exchanges of gunfire between Nigerian troops and terrorists in some communities in Zamfara State.
There are reports that the military lost 10 gallant personnel while some civilians were also killed when bandits fled toward the communities, resulting from the military attack against them.
Media reports indicated that the air component and ground troops of Operation Hadarin Daji recorded a major victory after eliminating terrorists in Malele Village of Dansadau Local Government Area of the state.
It was also reported that aircraft from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and ground troops of the Nigerian Army, sustained a well-coordinated joint operation against the terrorists since last Saturday.
Intelligence sources informed that terrorist activities in the area have been heightened due to the lingering crisis between Hausas and Fulanis over the devouring of farm produce thereby making the area very volatile, especially in Malele, Maigoge, Yan Sawayu, Ruwan Tofa, Mai Awaki, and Zama Lafiya, all under Mutunji district of Dansadau Emirate Council.
A defence intelligence operative had told how the security services mobilized their troops in launching series of attacks and airstrikes against bandits coming from different parts of the country.
“Both the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operations are yielding fantastic results in the area with several terrorists being eliminated as the battle is still on.
“Bandits who were fleeing from NAF airstrikes ran into a small village called Mutunji to take refuge.
“After ensuring that civilian lives in the village were not at risk, the NAF aircraft undertook a precision strike at the exact location, while the ground troops cleared the fleeing bandits in their escape bids,” the operative stated.
But in an update Tuesday, credible sources in the community disclosed that 10 soldiers paid the supreme price, while their colleagues pounded the terrorists.
“At least we counted 213 bodies of the bandit terrorists and their collaborators.
“Some civilians too were killed in what the military called ‘collateral damage’ when fleeing bandits hiding in the communities were attacked.
“The attack on troops occurred when the troops, with the support of local vigilantes, were navigating the terrains for counter-attacks.”
Governor Bello Matawalle, through Zailani Bappa, his Special Adviser on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, expressed his heartfelt sympathy to the families of victims earlier caught in military fire against the marauding bandits.
“I wish to, on behalf of myself, my family, the state Government and the entire good people of Zamfara state, extend my sincere sympathy to those who were injured and the families of those who died as a result of this collateral damage,”the Governor said.