The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has said its operatives have killed 35 criminals and arrested 98 suspects in an operation launched to curtail arms profileration in the country.
The military also disclosed that the suspects, who were arrested in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Kaduna and Taraba States, have been handed over to the police commands in the states where they were arrested and their prosecution would begin at the end of investigations.
The Director, Defence Information, Brig Gen John Agim, who stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, also disclosed that the military suffered casualties during the operation, as two soldiers were killed while two others have been declared missing in action.
Agim said: “On October 8, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, established Operation 777 to identify and destroy bandits and other persons bearing arms against the Nigerian state.
“In the last two weeks that we embarked on Operation 777, a large number of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons were recovered. During the period under review, our troops neutralised 35 criminals and 98 suspected bandits were arrested. They are undergoing investigation and shall be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“Within the period, 419 rustled cattle were recovered, 405 sheep and 101 goats were recovered and handed over to the various state committees established to return the animals to the rightful owners. In the operation around the maritime areas, 398 metric tonnes of stolen crude oil were recovered.
“Other items recovered were 67,000 litres of illegally refined diesel, 126 reservoirs, 34 illegal refineries, 27 wooden boats and drums of 100 litres premium motor spirit. They were recovered and destroyed.
“Regrettably, during these operations, the military suffered some casualties. Two soldiers were killed in action while two others were injured. Two others are missing in action while one AK-47 rifle is also missing in action.”
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