Bello Turji, the notorious leader of the Zamfara bandits and terrorists, is said to have evaded aerial attacks by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets on his lairs in Fakai, Shinkafi Local Government Area, Zamfara State.
Remember that the attack that was launched after receiving information about a gathering of bandits at the venue trapped several attendees?
The event was a naming ceremony for a child born to Turji’s family, according to a source at the ceremony.
According to reports, Operation Forest Sanity’s air soldiers conducted a “surprise raid” and killed the criminals.
When the attack began, Turji and the majority of his close friends reportedly fled the area to attend the afternoon prayer (zuhr).
“He (Turji) directed that they should observe the prayers. Those who didn’t leave for the prayers were hit by the bombs,” a source in Shinkafi told Newsmen.
The escape on Saturday was the second time the bandit commander had avoided such an assault.
A NAF bomb that was intended for his camp in December 2021 struck some of his men, causing numerous injuries and at least one fatality.
It was claimed that the device was detonated shortly after Turji left his home.
According to a person from the nearby village of Dangondi who managed to escape the Saturday airstrike but would not provide numbers, many people were killed. After the attack’s hubbub subsided, he said the bodies of the deceased were interred.
“Some young men were killed. There were also women and children who had gathered for the ceremony,” he said.
The populations of Shinkafi and Zurmi local governments in Zamfara and Isa and Sabon Birni local governments in Sokoto State have been terrorized for years by Bello Turji, one of the most dreaded and feared bandit warlords.
It was learned that Turji’s strike was carried out as a result of intelligence information given by Turji’s adversaries from the local Maniya gang.
Recall that in June of this year, Turji led his troops to raid the bandit stronghold in Maniya, where they killed Dullu, one of the area’s leaders.
After reaching a ceasefire agreement with the gang in Maniya, Turji issued a series of warnings to them to stop kidnapping travelers and attacking residents.
“The strong suspicion is that the Maniya boys snitched on him when they heard of the gathering. You know, the two sides have been at each other’s throats.
“Even about three weeks ago, he sent them a warning about some things happening around the area,” a source in Shinkafi who declined to be named said.
Anaedoonline.ng understands that there is panic among residents of a possible reprisal attack from Turji and his men over the bombings by NAF.
But dismissing fears of reprisal attacks, Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, said the military “will continue to maintain the heat” on the bandit groups.
“Operations are going to be sustained both by air and ground troops.
“Government institutions have a constitutional responsibility to keep the environment safe and that we must do,” he told Daily Trust on Sunday night.
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