The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said no fewer than 18 suspected terrorists were arrested in the Abuja Municipal Area Council.

The DHQ stated that the terrorists were arrested during operations conducted on February 14.

Abuja Municipal Area Council serves as the central hub of the nation’s capital, hosting the presidential villa, embassies, and various prominent government, private, and international entities.

Speaking during a briefing on the activities of the troops across the country in Abuja, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, said charms, and bulletproof vests among others were recovered from the terrorists.

He said, “Arrest of Suspected Violent Extremists/Terrorists: On February 14, 2024, troops in separate operations arrested 18 suspected violent extremists in AMAC of FCT Abuja. During the operations, troops recovered a bulletproof vest, a substance suspected to be cannabis, assorted charms, and the sum of N9,000.00 amongst others.”

Buba said in total, 244 terrorists were arrested while 286 were killed in operations conducted between February 13, and 22, 2024.

“During the week under review, troops neutralised 286 arrested 244 of them, and rescued 122 kidnapped hostages. Furthermore, troops recovered 587 assorted weapons and 7,943 assorted ammunition.

“The breakdown is as follows: 207 AK47 rifles, 56 locally fabricated guns, 17 pump action guns, 10 locally fabricated pistols, 22 Dane guns, one FN rifle, 6 double barrel automatic pump action, 2 double barrel guns, 2 x 36 hand grenades, and 10 IEDs.

“Others are 4,088 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 2,529 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 138 rounds of 9mm ammo, 39 rounds of 7.62mm refilled ammo, 331 P445 rounds of 7.62mm special, 180 rounds 5.5mm ammo, 2 PKT link of 7.62mm special, 445 live cartridges, 67 magazines, 6 HH radios,14 vehicles, 32 motorcycles, 34 mobile phones and the sum of N4,876,950.00 amongst other items.”

In the operations against oil thieves, noted that crude oil worth N2.5bn was recovered, and 83 suspects were arrested during the period under review.

“In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of N2,565,479,720.00 only. Troops also arrested 83 perpetrators of oil theft. Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and discovered and destroyed 134 dugout pits, 79 boats and 116 storage tanks. Other items recovered include 149 cooking ovens, one speedboat, 11 vehicles, 8 motorcycles, and 74 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 2,947,770 litres of stolen crude oil, 251,800 litres of illegally refined AGO, 6,125 litres of DPK, and 6,790 litres of PMS, ” Buba added.

Highlighting the military’s efforts in combating terrorists and bandits, Buba emphasised the need for good governance to quell the widespread insecurity.

He said, “We have eliminated several terrorists, their leaders and commanders. Troops are continually going after the terrorist and dislodging them from their hideouts. In spite of all these, it would appear that there is more to be done to win this war outside the use of military pressure.

“Accordingly, we must now win this war by changing the conditions that make the insurgents willing to fight. We must also win the war by increasing support for the government at various levels through heart and mind projects indicative of good governance.”

The PUNCH reports that DHQ in January said troops killed 43 and arrested 115 during the operations conducted in the first week of the year.

This is as the DHQ assured Nigerians that it would defeat terrorists and bandits perpetrating evil in the country.

From January to December 2023, troops killed a total of 6,886 terrorists and other suspected criminals.

Also, a total of 6,970 terrorists and other suspects were arrested in 2023.