…As Army launches Operation Tura Takaibango
From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna & Uche Uche, Damaturu
Armed bandits on Wednesday attacked Katarma village in Chikun local government area, of kaduna state and kidnapped some locals, mainly women.
This is as Army launched Operation Tura Takaibango.
The State Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday
The statement stated that bandits were initially engaged by local vigilantes who defended the village just before troops were mobilized to the location.
Four persons (Bulus Barde, Hassan Zarmai, Lawal Pada and Kefas Auta) including vigilantes were killed in the gunfight, with three others (Amos Doma, Zamba Ali and Bomboi Busa) injured. All the kidnapped women were rescued by the troops.
In response to the attack, air platforms were swiftly mobilized for armed missions over Katarma village, and Kusasu village in neighboring Niger State.
While ground troops headed to the location, the air component went ahead and neutralized several bandits as contained in the operational feedback to the Kaduna State Government.
According to the feedback, bandits were sighted at Katarma, clustered amid large herds of cattle, with others fleeing the location on motorcycles. They were quickly engaged by the fighter jet and neutralized.
During armed reconnaissance over neighboring Kusasu village, bandits on motorcycles were sighted fleeing from the aircraft, and were engaged, as some abandoned their motorcycles and took cover in the bushes.
Furthermore, missions were conducted over Albasu, Rahama, Sabon Birni, Kaya, Rikau, Galadimawa, Kerawa, Kidandan, Yadi, Dogon Dawa, Ngede Allah, Takama, Kuduru, Kuduru-Ungwan Yako track and the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road, spanning Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi and Chikun local government areas.
At Yadi, bandits were sighted on foot and on motorcycles with large herds of rustled cattle, and were duly engaged. Other locations were calm with normal activities observed.
Responding to the report, Governor Nasir El-Rufai sent his heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed by bandits at Katarma, and prayed for the repose of their souls.
The Governor further expressed satisfaction with the operational feedback, and commended the military for sustaining the tempo in taking the fight to the bandits.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has officially launched an operation titled OPERATION TURA TAKAIBANGO in order to contain the renewed Boko Haram and ISWAP offensive on soft targets especially vulnerable civilian settlements around what the army termed the TIMBUKTU Triangle.
This was disclosed to journalists yesterday by the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai in a press briefing on the planned conduct of the operation who was represented at the occasion by Major General NE Angbazo, the chief of training and operations Nigerian army
He stated that the recent upsurge in insurgents’ raid operations with the attendant abductions of some travelers along Maiduguri-Damaturu and Maiduguri-Biu roads, as well as the recent skirmishes experienced along Damaturu – Biu has necessitated the need for urgent steps to check these unwholesome trends.
“The current threat if not neutralized, could result to further attacks on more innocent civilian settlements, the migration of terrorists into Yobe and southern Borno states with possibility of increased attacks on civilian communities. Therefore the Nigerian Army has launched Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO to effectively checkmate the situation,” he said.
Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO was operationalized on the 3rd of January 2021 in the North East Theatre of operation comprising Adamawa, Bomo and Yobe States by the Chief of Army Staff.
He pointed out that Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO has become more expedient as it will boost the efforts by troops of Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE to enable the Nigerian Army to deal with the emerging threats of the Boko Haram and ISWAP within the North Eastern Part of the country and is meant to be theater-wide targeting known insurgents’ enclaves and hideouts for neutralization and clearance.
“At the end of the operation, it is envisaged that our citizens will be free to move about and conduct their farming and other businesses in a safe and secured atmosphere, devoid of any insurgent threat and harassment,” said the COAS.
He stated that since the operation started on the 3 of January 2021, remarkable achievements have been recorded so far, as on the 6 of January 2021, the troops of 402 Special Forces Brigade made contact in a fierce encounter with the terrorists which resulted in heavy defeat to the terrorists.
The result was the neutralization of 12 Boko terrorists, while 1 terrorist Vehicle Borne, Improvised Explosive Device and a Gun Truck were destroyed in additionally, 1 Anti Aircraft Gun, 1 General Purpose Machine Gun, 10 AK 47 Rifles, 1 Hand Grenade and large cache of assorted ammunition were captured
Similarly, he stated further, based on credible information of the plan effort of the terrorists to attack Geidam town in Geidam local government area of Yobe state and neighbouring communities, troops on Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO were mobilized to thwart the terrorists evil intention to invade Geidam town thereby preventing loss of lives and property.
He therefore called on the general public to remain vigilant and be security conscious, as suspected terrorists and criminals may be fleeing from military operations in these areas and finding safe haven amidst people in the communities.
He also reminded the public to report any suspicious activity or movement to the nearest military formation or other security agencies for prompt action adding that, in order to ensure cordial civil military relations, the army shall make public the contact phone numbers of the Theatre and Sector Commanders in Operation LAFIYA DOLE, in addition to the Nigerian Army short code Information and Call Centre 193.