How troops rescued Katsina schoolboys without collateral damage ― DHQ

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Thursday explained that the rescue of the abducted schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State by the military was achieved by the use of unarmed combat tactics and display of high professionalism by the gallant troops who carried out the rescue operation.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General John Enenche stated this in Abuja while updating Defence Correspondents on the military operations in the six geo-political zones towards ending insurgency activities in the country.
According to him, “the reason behind the successful rescue of the kidnapped Kankara schoolboys is professionalism. We used unarmed combat training which we all got. We were trained to survive hard conditions. Military personnel should be able to disarm the enemy silently.
“The bandits don’t have that training. They only know how to fire weapons and that is where we have an advantage over them. We were cautioned that no life must be lost.
“The military will not tell you exactly what happened in operations. The military secrecy will not allow them to divulge such information. Our intelligence was handled professionally in the rescue of the Kankara schoolboys.
“Professionalism boosted and assisted that these boys came back alive. Our operatives from the Defence Intelligence Agence, Department of State Services, Nigeria Police Force and the vigilantes cooperated at a peak. The fusion was perfect. It would also had been difficult without the support of the populace. We got the support of our superior authorities.”
Speaking on operations update across the country, Gen Enenche said that “the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with renewed vigour.
According to him, “in the North West Zone, Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji carried out several operations including rescue operations as well as clearance, ambushes and aerial patrols. These operations led to the rescue of abducted persons, neutralization of criminal elements and recovery of arms and ammunition.
“Notably, on 17 December 2020, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji actualized their promise to ensure the safe return of abducted students. As you are aware, all 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara who were abducted by armed bandits were rescued alive.
“Similarly, troops rescued 39 abducted girls who were Islaimiya children returning from Maulud programme, at Nguwar Al-Kasim in Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“Also, on 20 December 2020, troops in a swift response to a distress call, with overwhelming firepower, rescued 10 kidnapped victims from armed bandits at Yenyewa Village in Zamfara State. All rescued victims have been successfully reunited with their families.
“​In another development, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralized an armed bandit and arrested two of them while on night patrol at Bakinruwa Riverside in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
“Other bandits were forced to flee in disarray, some with gunshot wounds, abandoning their weapons due to troops overwhelming firepower.
“Troops continue to dominate the North-West theatre of operation with aggressive fighting and aerial patrols to deny the criminal elements freedom of action.
“In the North-East Zone, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole maintained and sustained continued vigilance and offensive postures through the comprehensive ground and air operations, which yielded appreciable results.
“On 17 December 2020, troops of Army Supper Camp II Gamboru, neutralized five Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) elements in a fierce fight at Kenuba general area in Borno State.
“During the encounter, troops destroyed one gun truck and captured an anti-aircraft gun as well as recovered three AK-47 rifles from the terrorists.
“Relatedly,  on 17 December, troops eliminated 4 BHT/ISWAP criminal elements and captured 2 gun trucks as well as one anti-aircraft gun with assorted ammunition from the terrorists at Cross-Kauwa in Borno State.
“Meanwhile, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole continued to dominate the theatre of operation with its force package of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships.
“Within the period, several air operations were conducted with resultant effects. Remarkably, on 19 December 2020, the Air Task Force eliminated several BHT criminal elements and destroyed their gun trucks in airstrikes executed at Ajiri Village in Borno State. Subsequently, series of air patrols and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, as well as air cover for ground troops, have been continuously conducted across the Zone.”
He added that: “In continuation of intensive kinetic operations against armed bandits and other criminals in the North Central Zone, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke and other subsidiary operations conducted raids at identified criminals’ hideouts.”
According to him, “these operations resulted in the neutralization and arrest of some criminal elements as well as recovery of arms and ammunition.
”Particularly, on 16 December 2020, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke neutralized two gang members of the late Gana’s militia group and arrested another during a dawn raid at Adangbe Village in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State. During the encounter, three locally-made rifles, 21 rounds of 7.62mm Special Ammunition and other items including one motorcycle were recovered from the criminals.
He stated that “furthermore, on 21 December 2020, troops neutralized one armed bandit and captured two others at Anguwa-Onmbaagbu general area of Benue State. The bandits who were linked to the recent killing of a Makurdi based lawyer and his wife engaged the troops in a firefight and were overwhelmed by the troops’ superior firepower. Troops captured some arms and ammunition from the criminals during the encounter.
According to him, “in a related development, troops arrested two armed bandits along with their arms at Abako Village in Taraba State. All arrested criminals have been handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action. Meanwhile, troops continue to dominate the North Central theatres of Operation.”
He further explained that in the South-South Zone troops of Operation Delta Safe conducted comprehensive anti-illegal refinery and anti-crude oil theft/illegal bunkering operations daily to deter economic saboteurs freedom of action in the Zone.
According to him, “cumulatively, seven illegal refining sites with 48 metal tanks, two dugout pits, three reservoirs, 10 ovens and six wooden boats were immobilized, while one 8HP Yamaha engine and two pumping machines were recovered.
”Also, a total of 16,984.9 barrels of illegally refined crude oil, 1,428,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 10,000 litres of DPK were seized from oil thieves.”
Gen Eneche further explained that in the South-West Zone, troops of Operation Awatse and subsidiary Operations Calm Waters II and Swift Response have continued to intensify the fight against economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the Zone.
“Troops’ activities have drastically reduced pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities in the South West Zone.”
He added that within the period under review, a total of 92 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 1,500 litres of PMS and 79 bales of fairly used clothes were intercepted. Also, two smugglers were arrested and handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.
Gen Eneche disclosed that the Military High Command encouraged the troops and personnel of other security agencies to remain determined and to sustain the tempo in all the Joint Operations Areas.
He added the High Command also reassured the general public of its untiring dedication towards securing the country and enjoined the general public to continue to provide timely information on the activities of criminals in their various localities to the military and other security agencies for prompt and effective action.



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