The Nigerian Army, in collaboration with a hybrid force and the civilian joint task force,  has killed three suspected terrorists during a raid of their hideouts in the Timbuktu triangle in the Lake Chad Region.

The operation was also said to have led to the recovery of a machine gun, a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, a gun truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun, and a cache of arms and ammunition.

According to a statement on Friday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Maj-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, on sighting the troops on Wednesday, the terrorists engaged them in a fierce battle but were overpowered.

The statement read in part, “During the operation, insurgents attacked own troops with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, mortar, gun trucks, and motorbikes, but fell under the overwhelming superior firepower of the troops, forcing them to abandon their stronghold, armaments, and equipment in disarray.

“The operation proved to be a major setback to the insurgents, as the gallant troops neutralised three terrorists and recovered one MRAP, one gun truck, one Dushka machine gun, one AK 47 rifle, and one locally fabricated gun.

“Troops also captured one rocket-propelled grenade bomb, 273 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, one pumping machine, 65 Dushka links, 48 general purpose machine gun links, and three motorbikes.”

Onyema said in another operation conducted in Nasarawa, troops killed one criminal and recovered dangerous weapons.

Meanwhile, troops of Operation Safe Haven, a special military task force maintaining peace in Plateau and parts of Bauchi and Kaduna states, have arrested 271 suspects for committing various offences within its areas of responsibility.

The Deputy Commander of OPSH, DCP Terzungwe Iyela, said on Friday in Jos that troops of the operation also recovered 1,161 ammunition and rescued 79 kidnap victims within the period under review.

The deputy commander explained that suspects were arrested over kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, among other crimes.

He said, ”Troops also neutralised 13 armed criminals and arrested 271 suspects for offenses related to kidnapping, armed robbery, gun running, banditry, farm destruction, vandalism, and other sundry crimes.”