Terrorists kill 34 security personnel in Katsina


By Odita Sunday (Abuja), and Danjuma Michael (Katsina)

Culled From the Guardian news paper

• COAS praises troops for dismantling insurgents’ haven

Thirty-four security personnel, including a soldier and 33 members of the Vigilantee Group of Nigeria lost their lives in recent months while combating terrorism in different parts of Katsina State.

Speaking at an event to support families of security officers who died while combating terrorism, Governor Dikko Radda, yesterday, lamented the insecurity that is bedeviling the state, especially in communities close to forest reserves.

Radda said that the challenge brought about by insecurity was what led his administration to release billions of naira for security equipment among other efforts.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Abdullahi Faskari, the governor said that his administration would do whatever it takes to ensure terrorism was quickly brought to its knees.

He, therefore, commended security operatives for combating the menace, adding that some of them have been injured, maimed, or paid the supreme price in the process.

He added that it was part of recognition for their gallantry that the state government set up an office to assist security officers if they become victims while combating terrorism.

Also speaking, Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Support of Victims of Banditry, Saidu Danja, said that the government released N20m to assist victims of banditry, especially military and paramilitary persons.

Danja said that family members of the 33 vigilantes that were killed would get N500, 000 each, while the deceased soldier’s family members would get N1m.

He also said that N250,000 each would be given to 10 persons who sustained gunshots and injuries during attacks by terrorists.

He said that 29 security personnel have been treated for gunshot and related injuries at various hospitals, with the government spending N11.83m on medical bills. The special adviser said that the medical bills of four security personnel and 32 others, who were victims of terrorism, and currently receiving treatment in hospitals have been defrayed by the government.

Meanwhile, in continuation of his operational tour of the North East Theatre Operations, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, yesterday, arrived Damaturu, Yobe State, where he lauded troops for dismantling terrorist’s haven. Lagbaja also visited wounded troops hospitalised at the sick bay.
He was briefed by the Commander Sector 2, Major General Lander Saraso, on the security situation in Yobe and the ongoing clearance operations code-named “Operation Desert Sanity” to rid the Timbuktu Triangle of insurgents.

The COAS was also briefed on the Nigerian Army Special Forces School by the Commandant, Brigadier General Wara Bello Idris.

Addressing officers and soldiers of the sector, the army chief extolled the troops for their service to the nation and the successes of the ongoing operations, which he said, has demystified and deconstructed the notorious Timbuktu Triangle which hitherto was an enclave of the ISWAP/BH insurgents.

Lagbaja assured the troops that the challenges currently experienced in the sector will be given prompt and due attention. He encouraged the troops to freely communicate their concerns through appropriate channels, guaranteeing that they would always be granted an audience and accorded appropriate attention.

He charged the troops to avoid distractions, but remain disciplined and focus on their mission.

Lagbaja also visited officers and soldiers wounded in action and receiving medical attention at the Level ll Field Hospital, Damaturu. While praying for their speedy recuperation, Lagbaja reassured them of the Army Headquarters intervention in ensuring that they were given adequate medical attention, including medical evacuation for overseas treatment.

The COAS later proceeded on an inspection and assessment of the level of work at the new Army Barracks under construction in Damaturu.

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