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Military intensifies search for terrorists amid jihadists’ infiltration

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The Defence Headquarters announced on Friday that it has intensified its intelligence-gathering operations to thoroughly investigate terrorists and prevent them from finding safe havens.

Persecondnews recalls that the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think tank, said on June 18 that jihadi fighters from the Sahel region have infiltrated Nigeria by crossing the border from the Benin Republic.

The development raised concerns about the spread of extremism in the region.

The organization released a report revealing that extremist elements have established a presence in Kainji Lake National Park, spanning across Niger and Kebbi states.

Furthermore, the report highlighted a resurgence of banditry in areas controlled by the Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin, a militant jihadist group operating in Benin.

However, in a statement released on Friday, the Director of Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, announced that the military has revised its strategy to effectively flush out and neutralize the terrorists, no matter their hiding locations.

The statement reads: “The armed forces have intensified intelligence collection efforts targeted at hunting terrorists and striking them where they may be hiding and hibernating.

“The aim is to kill these terrorists and the infrastructure that supports them. Additionally, operational adjustments have been made to prioritize protection for farmers to ensure successful rainy-season farming.

“Troops will continue to employ significant firepower to neutralize terrorists and disrupt their activities across the country. Winning the war against the terrorists is non-negotiable.”

In a summary of the troops accomplishments for the week, Buba reported that a total of 220 terrorists were neutralized, and 202 kidnapped victims were successfully rescued and freed from captivity.

Buba stated that the military had recovered several weapons from the terrorists.

He said: “During the week under review, troops neutralised 220 and arrested 395 persons. Troops also arrested 55 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 202 kidnapped hostages.

“Additionally, troops recovered 432 assorted weapons and 9,004 assorted ammunition. The breakdown is as follows: 3 PKT guns, one G3 rifle, 83 AK47 rifles, 18 locally fabricated guns, 16 Dane guns, 2 pump action guns, 2 double barrel guns, 2 single barrel guns, 8 locally fabricated pistols, 2 revolver rifles, one hand grenade, 14 RPG bombs, one RPG launcher, 2 tear gas launchers, 234 smoke grenades and one bandolier.

“Others are 5,893 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 2,064 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 401 rounds of 9mm ammo, 200 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm, 154 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 195 live cartridges, 17 magazines, 3 Baofeng radios, 8 vehicles, 32 motorcycles, 59 mobile phones, and the sum of N813,550.00 only, amongst other items.”

He said the troops in the South-South region successfully stopped oil thieves from stealing crude oil worth about N1.9 billion, protecting the country’s economic assets.

The statement added: “Also, troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 51 dugout pits, 38 boats, and 51 storage tanks. Other items recovered include 215 cooking ovens, 2 speedboats, 44 drums, 3 tug boats, 3 barges, 4 wheelbarrows, one outboard engine, 15 vehicles, 3 motorcycles, 6 mobile phones, and 105 illegal refining sites.

“Troops recovered 1,099,860 litres of stolen crude oil, 1,101,700 litres of illegally refined AGO, 27350 litres of DPK, and 150 litres of PMS.”

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