Villagers jubilate as military kills bandit commander, 35 fighters

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Troops of Operation Whirl Punch have killed 36 bandits, including Buhari Alhaji Halidu, otherwise known as “Buharin Yadi,” one of the deadliest bandit leaders terrorising the North over the years.

Following the killings, residents of Kaduna-Katsina border communities went into wild jubilation.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this on Thursday in Kaduna.

Aruwan said the bandit leader was also known to have links with other deadly terrorist groups in the North-East and North-West.

According to the commissioner, the bandit kingpin and his gang member had been unleashing terror on citizens in Kidandan/Galadimawa general areas of Giwa Local Government Area, Sabon Birni/Kerawa general areas of Igabi Local Government Area in Kaduna State and other locations in nearby Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina State, as well as some parts of Niger and Zamfara states.

Aruwan said, “The infamous terrorist, Buharin Yadi, one of the deadliest bandit leaders terrorising Northern Nigeria in the last decade, has met his bitter end at the hands of security forces.

“The troops of Sector 6 Operation Whirl Punch rained down fire on the kingpin known as Buhari Alhaji Halidu (alias Buharin Yadi) and his cohorts, abruptly terminating their ignominious spell of terror.

“Halidu was neutralised in a fierce battle with the troops (under the coordination of their Commander, also the General Officer Commanding of One Division Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. M.L.D. Saraso) which took place around Idasu forest at the boundaries between Giwa LGA of Kaduna State and Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State.

“The troops began the covert operation in response to intelligence reports on terrorists’ movement from Samunaka, Saulawa area of Katsina State.

“On advancing to Samunaka, the troops found the settlement destroyed and cattle killed, evidence of recent criminal activity by the bandits.”

He added, “A ferocious battle quickly followed, as approaching terrorists were pounded with artillery rounds at Hayin Almajiri. The troops then fought bravely through an ambush, to attain their objective. Initial assessments indicate that at least 36 bandits were eliminated in the engagement.

“It was eventually verified that one of those neutralised was Kachalla Buharin Yadi. Kachalla Buhari Alhaji Halidu (also known as Buharin Yadi or Buhari Janar) and the brigands under his command had been unleashing terror on citizens in Kidandan/Galadimawa general areas of Giwa LGA, Sabon Birni/Kerawa general areas of Igabi LGA, other locations in nearby Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State, and indeed some parts of Niger and Zamfara states.

“Buharin Yadi was involved in large-scale cattle rustling, arms trading and drug trafficking. He had led his gang in the pillaging of communities and the slaughter and kidnapping of thousands of citizens in Kaduna and neighbouring states.

“The breakthrough brings to an end a manhunt by security forces for this terrorist, which stretched more than five years. The news of his demise spread like wildfire, triggering massive relief and widespread celebrations among locals spanning Kaduna and Katsina states.”

He quoted Governor Uba Sani as being excited about receiving the report, describing it as a pointer to “the bravery, pro-activeness and sheer efficiency of the troops involved.”

The governor, according to Aruwan, commended Maj. Gen. Saraso for his sterling leadership, and lauded the troops for the victory.

“Members of the public are hereby informed that some of the terrorists sustained gunshot injuries during the encounter. Citizens in the general area and beyond are, therefore, enjoined not to render assistance (medical or otherwise) to individuals carrying suspicious injuries, but to immediately report such to security agencies.

“The Kaduna State Security Operations Room is available 24 hours a day to receive reports of this nature on the phone lines 09034000060 and 08170189999.

“Special operations against bandits continue in the general area. Citizens are urged to continue to volunteer supportive information to the security forces and the government,” the commissioner added.

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