By Abdulsalam Muhammad
KANO – Troops of Nigerian Army operating in Faskari and Safana areas of Katsina State has identified and destroyed 7 rustlers enclave in a combat operation that led to the death of 11 notorious rustlers with arrest of 39.
In a press statement by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Capt Ikechukwu Eze that made available to Vanguard in Kano said that 19 locally made Dane guns, 1 locally made pistol , pieces of military uniforms, 3 national identity cards, 2 expired international passports, assorted charms and a pickup truck possibly used for their nefarious activities were recovered.
Capt Eze stated that Operation RESTORE PEACE II was recently activated on the request by the Governors of 7 North Western States under the leadership of Kaduna State Governor and approved by the President to checkmate cattle rustling and armed robbery in their states.
The statement revealed that 157 cows, 140 sheep, 19 goats and 6 donkeys were also recovered from the operation that was handed over to the Chairman Katsina State Standing Committee on Farmers and Herdsmen .
According to the statement “Troops conduct raids, ambushes and fighting patrols in some of the affected areas under 3 Brigade namely; Danmusa, Dandume, Funtua, Faskari, Safana, Sabuwa, Batsari, Kafur, Jibia and Kankara LGAs aimed at ending cattle rustling in the state. From 10 July 2015 when the operation commenced to date, 7 major rustlers’ enclaves were identified and cleared. ”
The Army further revealed “During encounters, 11 of the most notorious cattle rustlers were killed-in-action and many others escaped with injuries while 39 armed bandits were arrested and handed over to the police.”
The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations disclosed that the combat operation was coordinated by Headquarters 1 Division Nigerian Army and involves 1 Brigade, 3 Brigade, 1 DISFORCE, 31 Artillery Brigade and supported by the Nigerian Air Force.
Capt Eze in the statement said that the physical presence of the troops and their relentless efforts have returned confidence and facilitated the resumption of farming and local commercial activities in the affected communities.
The Army statement applauded the support enjoyed by the troops from the Nigeria Police, Department State Services, other concerned security agencies and law abiding citizens.
The statement tasked stakeholders for continued and sustained collaboration “to end the menace of cattle rustling and other criminal activities in our Area of operational responsibility. “