Special Forces of the Nigeria Police backed by helicopters have reportedly killed 250 high-profile members of the Ansaru terrorist group in an operation on Wednesday, at Kuduru Forest, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State.
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The police stated that the operatives in a daring offensive stormed one of the largest operational camps of the Ansaru sect and successfully eliminated the terrorists.
The camp also housed bandits and other criminals who were all neutralised during the operation.
The Islamist terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attack on the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum, Alhaji Umar Bubaram along Kaduna-Zaria road killing three of his aides and injuring many others, in January.
The emir was on his way to Zaria, Kaduna, on a tour of some traditional institutions in the north as part of preparations for the official inauguration of the Potiskum Central Mosque, Yobe, when the attack occurred.
The group’s last known attacks were in February 2013 when seven foreign nationals were kidnapped from a compound owned by the Lebanese construction company Setraco in Kano.
But the force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a statement explained that the operation was carried out by a combined team of Operation Puff Adder operatives made up of the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit, Special Forces, Intelligence Response Team, Special Tactical Squad and Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
It said, “Special operatives of Operation Puff Adder of the Nigeria Police backed by the Special Forces of the Police Airwing, in a daring offensive operation, stormed one of the largest operational camps of the Ansaru Terror Group (also housing other bandits and kidnappers) located in Kuduru Forest, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State and successfully neutralized over 250 high-profile members of the Ansaru terror group.
“The operation, which commenced in the early hours of Wednesday, was necessitated by actionable intelligence linking terror and criminal elements in the super-camp to series of terror-related violence, kidnappings, gun-running, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes across the country.”
Mba disclosed that a police Bell helicopter, which provided aerial and intelligence cover for the ground troops came under attack from the bandits using sophisticated anti-aircraft rifles and General Purpose Machine Guns.
He added, “Commendably, the pilot and the co-pilot who demonstrated uncommon courage and expertise, successfully landed the aircraft at the Air Force Base, Kaduna without further incident.
The operatives were, thereafter, evacuated for medical treatment. Both officers who sustained non-life threatening injuries are currently receiving treatment and are in stable condition.”
The statement further disclosed that the helicopter had been flown out of the Kaduna Air Force Base by police pilots en-route to Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has assured the citizens of safety and sustained intelligence-led operations against bandits across the length and breadth of the nation.
He has equally applauded the unparalleled bravery, commitment and dedication of the police operatives currently conducting the special mission,” it noted.