The Nigerian Army said it had killed no fewer than 220 members of Boko Haram since the commencement of Operation Sahel Sanity in July 2020. However, reports said the army had also lost at least six of its personnel, including two officers since the operation kicked off.
According to most recent reports, the army rescued about 642 kidnap victims. The 344 students of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara, Katsina State, are among the victims.
Briefing newsmen on the activities of the operation at the Nigeria Army Super Camp IV, Faskari, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, said that the operation had been active since it commenced in July.
Launching of ‘Operation Sahel Sanity’
Reports revealed the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lit. General Tukur Buratai, launched “Operation Sahel Sanity” on July 6, 2020. The aim is solely to aid the force in combating banditry, terrorism and other forms of criminality in Niger State, as well as the North-Western zone at large.
According to the findings, the operation was to end in December. However, due to sudden contingencies, Buratai reportedly extended it to March 2021.
Also, Brigadier General Onyeuko, whom Colonel Aliyu Illyasu represented, revealed that the troops had apprehended about 335 bandit suspects. Also, he noted that he troops had nabbed 326 illegal miners and at least 147 bandits’ collaborators and informants.
Speaking further, he noted that the ‘Operation Sahel Sanity’ had neutralized a total of 220 armed bandits.
Also, the troops reportedly seized about 73 Ak-47 rifles, 194 Dane guns, and one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). Similarly, they recovered 5,032 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 568 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition. Too, they retrieved about 156 live cartridges from the bandits.
In totality, the troops of Operation Sahel Sanity successfully foiled 165 bandits’ attacks and about 81 kidnap attempts. Also, they were cases where the criminals almost overpowered the troops.
Sadly, he noted that the Nigerian Army had lost six of its personnel during the operation. “They are the heroes of our time and we cherish them,” Brigadier General Onyeuko said.