Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have repelled armed bandits who opened fire on motorists plying the Tsafe-Magazu Road in Zamfara State.
The soldiers also recovered 15 motorcycles which the bandits abandoned.
SaharaReporters gathered that many of the bandits escaped into the forest with gunshot wounds.
Over the months, suspected bandits have continually attacked Zamfara communities, killing scores of people and abducting people for ransoms despite a peace agreement with the state government.
About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and millions of naira were given to leaders of different repentant bandits by Governor Bello Matawalle as part of the agreement.
A top military officer told SaharaReporters that the gunmen now carry out attacks with some of these vehicles given to them by Matawalle.
The officer said, “Those bandits have different group, so if they say they repent, the governor will give them a Hilux vehicle but unfortunately they are now using the vehicles to carry out attacks.
“It’s so sad, he called it peace and reconciliation programme, but all you need to be rich now in Zamfara is to take up arms against the people.”
A committee set up to investigate the menace of armed banditry in the region, headed by Mohammed Abubakar, a former Inspector General of Police, reported that in Zamfara State between June 2011 and May 2019, 4,983 women were widowed; 25,050 children were orphaned; and more than 190,000 people were displaced as a result of armed banditry.
On Tuesday, bandits known for operating along Shinkafi/Sokoto Road, during a peace meeting with popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, claimed officials of Zamfara and Sokoto State governments provide them with information with which they strike and evade arrest by military.