82 bandits killed in Nigerian airstrikes: army spokesman

By Saliu

ABUJA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian military on Wednesday confirmed 82 bandits killed when a series of airstrikes targeted their locations in the northwestern states of Katsina and Zamfara.

John Enenche, the spokesman for the military, told reporters in Abuja that the airstrikes were carried out on Monday in two separate forests within the northern states.

Enenche said 67 bandits were killed in the Birnin Kogo Forest in Katsina, while 15 others were eliminated inside Ajjah Forest in Zamfara on the same day.

Several military operations are underway in the northwest region of Nigeria that has been wracked by years of violence.

The airstrikes followed credible intelligence and surveillance which prompted the military to deploy fighter jets and helicopter gunships to the bandits' locations.

The two forest hideouts housed scores of the bandits along with hundreds of rustled cattle, the official said.

The military fighter jets and helicopter gunships took turns in engaging the target areas, scoring accurate hits on the caves used by the bandits to shield themselves from airstrikes, he added.

Banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities have recently become rampant in Nigeria's northwest region.

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