The Defence Headquarters on Thursday gave a sad details of what happened last week Monday August 14, 2023 in two separate but related occurrences that led to the lost of three officers, 22 soldiers, two pilots , two crews and helicopter crash in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State .
Provoked and consequently, troops have been ordered “to use superior military force to eliminate any group or groups that constitutes a threat to the safety of citizens and own forces alike.”
Major General Edward Buba the Director, Defence Media Operation(DMO), disclosed this on behalf of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa during a media briefing on the military operations. He said that “no group will strike the military without injurious consequences” henceforth .
He said on troops casualties. “Sadly, it is no more news that we sustained casualties on 14 Aug 23 in two separate but related occurrences. It is on this note that on behalf of the CDS, I express our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all those killed in action as a result of the occurrences. Troops while conducting offensive operations around Kundu general area in Shiroro LGA of Niger State got into an ambush.
“Following a fire fight, 3 officers and 22 soldiers were killed in action, 7 soldiers wounded in action. Subsequently, the NAF MI-171 Hel was despatched to evacuated the casualties. While out bound to Kaduna, the helicopter crashed with 14 of the earlier killed in action personnel, 7 of the earlier wounded in action personnel, 2 pilots and 2 crew members of the helicopter.
“Operations are ongoing to recover the bodies and investigate the cause of the air crash which will be communicated. Surely, no group will strike own troops with impunity.”
He said the operations as enumerated is indicative of the professionalism of men and women of the armed forces, their courage and bravery. These men and women put themselves in harms way, time and time again, to protect our great country.
Major General Buba said troops are as he speak advancing to the location of the helicopter crash conducting operations against the violent extremist group and would bring overwhelming force to bear in securing citizens and our nation.
Also speaking on same incident, the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said that cause of helicopter crash is yet to be established.
“Citizens should not allowed themselves to be used as communication channels for terrorists” he advised , but to rally round the Armed Force who are fighting to halt terrorists from terrorising our communities.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters has said that troops who were deployed across the country in operations against the violent extremist groups, during the week leading to 17 August 2023 neutralised 28 terrorists, arrested 92 terrorists and 6 gunrunners.
Major General Buba said the troops also arrested 3 kidnappers, 6 terrorists’ collaborators, 7 perpetrators of oil theft, rescued 82 kidnapped hostages, and denied oil theft the sum of N876,451,800.00.
“Overall, troops recovered 108 weapons and 564 ammunition. The breakdown as follows: 22 AK47 rifles, one PKT gun, 6 pump action guns, 4 Dane guns, one fabricated rifle, one galil ace rifle, one RGP bomb, one RPG tube, 44 hand grenades, 322 rounds of 7.62mm special, 63 rounds of 12.7mm ammo, 12 rounds of 5.6mm ammo, 33 AK47 magazines, one empty case of 7.62mm special and 3 empty magazines. Other items include; 14 motorcycles, 16 mobile phones, 3 Motorolla radios, one boafeng radio, 2 motorcycle tyres, 5 touch lights, 2 solar panels, 104 livestock, and the sum of Two Million Eight Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Four Hundred Naira (N2,896,400.00).