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Soldiers arrest 39 bandits, others in Plateau

The Special Military Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, maintaining peace in Plateau State and its environs, says it has arrested a total of 39 suspected criminals, including bandits, in the state.

It was learnt that the suspects were arrested at different locations within the joint operation area of Operation Safe Haven, Operation Hakorin Damisa IV, and the 3 Division, Nigerian Army in the past week.

Its spokesperson, Captain Oya James, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Tuesday.

He further disclosed that two of the suspects had been on the wanted list for involvement in several armed robbery and kidnapping activities in the state.

The statement read in part, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven and Operations Hakorin Damisa IV from August 14 to 21, 2023, have arrested 39 criminal suspects in connection with banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery, as well as recovered arms, ammunition, and hard drugs.

“The suspects were arrested at different locations within the Joint Operation Area of Operation Safe Haven and the 3 Division Nigerian Army Area of Responsibility.

“Two of the suspects have been on the wanted list for involvement in several armed robberies and kidnapping activities.

“Troops recovered 1 AK 47 rifle, 1 pump-action magnum gun, 1 AK-47 magazine, 14 rounds of 7.62mm special, and an Itel mobile phone from the suspects. A suspected kidnapper and arms dealer was also captured at Kuba village in the Bokkos LGA of Plateau State.

“Similarly, troops arrested two militia gang members identified as being among those who attacked the Heipang general area recently and recovered 2 x AK 47 rifles, 7 fabricated rifles, and 4 pump action cartridges during the operations. A drug syndicate operating in Bassa LGA was also nabbed during sting operations, and seven drug peddlers were arrested with a large cache of drugs.

“Additionally, troops arrested a total of 307 cows for grazing on farmlands belonging to locals at Kubat Community and Mabel village of Mangu and Bokkos LGAs, respectively. Furthermore, a total of 37 distress calls were prompted and responded to by OPSH within the period leading to the rescue of 17 kidnapped victims, foiling of cattle rustling, and repelling of attacks on vulnerable communities, especially in Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom LGAs.”


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