The Nigeria Police Force has disclosed that 20 of its personnel that were captured during an attack in Mahanga forest in Birnin Mogaji in local government area of Zamfara State have been rescued.
The Police however said it lost 16 of its personnel during the attack on the community.
A statement in Abuja by the Force Spokesman, Ag. DCP Jimoh Moshood said the men who were rescued and the corpses of the 16 policemen were found after the rescue operations carried out by the Police Joint Intervention Force.
The Nigeria Police Force had over the weekend said it killed 104 bandits and destroyed 50 hideouts located in three camps and also recovered 500 cattle and 79 sheep during the attack.
To tackle the activities of the bandits, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris deployed the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, DIG Habila Joshak to Zamfara to lead the team.
Giving an update on the Joint Operations ongoing in the State, Moshood said:”The Police Joint Intervention Force under the command of Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations deployed by the Inspector General of Police to Zamfara State to rout-out all armed bandits and other criminal elements in the state is making progress in the operations.
“The search and rescue operations embarked on by the Police Joint Intervention Force to rescue the missing Police Personnel after the 29th November, 2018, onslaught on the armed bandits in which 104 armed bandits were killed, 50 bandits hideouts in three camps destroyed and 500 cattle and 79 sheep from the possession of the armed bandits resulted in the successful rescue of 20 Policemen alive, while 16 Police Personnel were found dead after the rescue operations carried out by the Police Joint Intervention Force.
“Police Special Forces personnel, Counter Terrorism Unit, Police Mobile Force, Federal SARS personnel with three surveillance patrol helicopters have commenced an on-going operation being strengthened to rout-out the remnants armed bandits and other criminal elements in the caves and mountains in the identified bandits hideouts in some locations in Zamfara State.”
Moshood also stated that the IGP has directed the DIG to remain in Zamfara.
The IGP while condoling with the families of the deceased Policemen, directed befitting burials for the gallant officers and prompt processing and payments of the life assurance benefits and other entitlements to their families.
“The IGP is saddened with the death of the gallant officers whom he describes as heroes of the Force; their demise is a great loss to Nigeria Police Force and our dear Nation, Nigeria. The supreme price they paid for the security and safety of the Country will not be in vain.”
The Force also said it will not relent in ensuring that armed banditry, other violent crimes and criminalities are brought to the end Zamfara State despite the death of the 16 Policemen.
It also urged members of the public with any information or in distress in any part of the State to call the Police Joint Intervention Control Centre through the following numbers 08037025670, 08033210966, 08033312261, 08123829666, 09053872244, 07082351758, 08091914752