By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
Against the backdrop of intelligence provided by aerial surveillance and credible sources, Nigerian Airforce fighter jets of Operation Hadarin Daji have bombed key enclaves of kidnappers and bandits in Rijana, Kaduna State.
A military source confirmed to Vanguard that the airstrikes also destroyed an armoury and a building occupied by a notorious kidnapping kingpin, Ali Kwaja, who is responsible for most of the kidnappings on the Abuja-Kaduna axis.
Scores of the bandits who were thrown into disarray by the airstrikes met their waterloo during the operation.
It was gathered that the bandits often used the enclaves as their staging points to carry out attacks on travellers and commuters on the Abuja -Kaduna Expressway.
The Military High Command had directed a clearance offensive against bandits and their enclaves along the Abuja-Kaduna road following incessant attacks and kidnapping of travellers along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway.
The source said, “Most of the attacks along Kaduna-Abuja Expressway are orchestrated by bandits from Rijana-Kuzo axis.
“After confirming the location, the Air Component of Operation Thunder Strike scrambled fighter aircraft to take out the targets.
“Overhead the target area, armed bandits were seen gathered and were engaged. Some fleeing bandits after the initial strike were trailed to a location, about 4km Southeast of Kaduna State NYSC Orientation Camp and were subsequently neutralized.
Furthermore, the Air Component destroyed a key bandits’ house at Kofita, after it was revealed that the building serves as a warehouse and staging location for most of the attacks in the area.”
Locals residing within a safe distance of the area also confirmed that scores of bandits were neutralized at the Rijana axis during the strike.