As fleeing bandits raid villages on their escape routes from aerial bombardments, military intelligence operatives are aiding the release of captives from enclaves of bandit leaders willing to embrace peace.
PRNigeria gathered that while the reluctant and panicky bandits are attacking communities along Anka and Bukkuyum axes of Zamfara State, some bandit leaders at Shinkafi and Tsafe areas have sent emissaries to the authorities, seeking peace and have continued to release kidnapped victims in their custody.
The bandits in Zamfara State have been in panic moods recently, with consistent aerial attacks coming from the Nigerian Military after the government officially proscribed bandit groups as terrorists.
Security sources told PRNigeria that following the raid of their camps and the killing of some of their leaders by Nigerian military forces, the fleeing bandits are attacking villages on their escape routes.
“While fleeing their locations with their animals due to sustained bombardments, the bandits engaged security vigilantes and raided villages on their escape routes. Some of the communities they attacked are Barayar Zaki, Rafin Gero, Rafin Danya and Kurfa.
“The criminal elements are alarmed at the rate at which the military onslaught is getting to them in recent times. The consistent attacks have decimated their population, as many bandit commanders and terrorists have been killed,” the sources said.
According to the sources, the labelling of bandits as terrorists gave the military a legitimate right to deploy full force against them and their leaders in Zamfara and the other Northern States.
“Realising the implication of the official tagging of banditry as terrorism by the federal government, some of their leaders have released large numbers of their captives in Shinkafi, Tsafe and Kaura axes as they seek peace talks.
“A non-kinetic approach in collaboration with the state government and other security agencies, spearheaded by the intelligence service of the Nigerian military, is helping in facilitating the release of more captives across Zamfara State.
“The ‘brutal’ offensives are ongoing at areas where bandit-terrorists are proving ‘stubborn’ as fighter jets have been ‘careful’ during bombardment missions to avoid collateral damage as innocent citizens, especially kidnapped victims, can be caught in military onslaughts,” the sources added.