Nigerian troops kill 135 militants in northwest region in 3 days

Nigerian police.PHOTO/REUTERS

At least 135 local militants have been killed and others wounded by Nigerian troops in Zamfara and Katsina states, northwest of Nigeria, a defense spokesperson said Saturday.

John Enenche, the Nigerian defense spokesperson, who disclosed this in a statement sent to Xinhua, said armed bandits were killed in massive air raids by the the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji at several locations in the two states between Wednesday and Friday.

The air raid was part of the renewed offensive to rid the northwest of armed bandits and other criminal elements, according to the military spokesperson.

Enenche said the air strikes were undertaken sequel to credible intelligence reports as well as series of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions that led to the identification of the camps.

He said the air interdiction missions were undertaken by the attack aircraft to the locations in multiple bombing runs, adding that some were executed simultaneously.

Nigeria has been grappling with security challenges, with the over-a-decade insurgency of Boko Haram in the northeast, and frequent armed attacks by militants in the northwest.

Nigerian troops have recently intensified efforts to calm the situation with a series of operations against the armed groups in the northwest.