On Saturday, members of Bello Turji’s loyalist group were killed when the Nigerian Air Force struck their hideaway in Zamfara State.
At the time of this story, details were hazy, but Shauntv had learned that numerous bandits had been killed.
Reportedly the bandit boss was hiding out in the Fakai woodland in the Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara when the attack occurred, but he managed to get away.
According to sources, the airstrike resulted in serious injuries to many bandits and the deaths of others.
Sources say Turji and a few of his men narrowly avoided the attack, despite rumours to the contrary.
In recent weeks, the military has increased its offensive against bandits and rebels, eliminating the non-state entities responsible for widespread destruction across the country.
Turji, the leader of a sizable criminal organisation, has been instrumental in recent attacks in the North West region, particularly in Zamfara.
When it comes to the campaign of violence that armed gangs have launched, Zamfara is one of the hardest devastated areas. Governor Bello Matawalle had pleaded with citizens to arm themselves after he became concerned that crime was rising despite law enforcement’s best efforts to stem the tide.
He had also organised neighbourhood guards, equipping them with almost 7,000 firearms, yet attacks persisted despite this.
Some residents of the Anka Local Government Area of the State spent at least N19 million on a canoe for bandits as protection levies at the start of this rainy season.
Alhaji Hassan Nasiha, the Deputy Governor of Zamfara, had previously stated that Turji had changed his mind and agreed to participate in peace talks.
Nasiha stated the bandit leader has turned his back on crime and is now hunting down other hardened criminals during a meeting hosted by the Students Union of Medina University in Saudi Arabia.
A peace project with bandits has resulted in three months with no bandit attacks in the Magami district.
“The state administration, acting through the peace committee, reached an agreement with the bandits’ leader, who pledged to end criminal activity and turn instead to the path of peace.
After saying that “Turji is now killing unrepentant bandits who wreaked horror on innocent civilians in Shinkafi, Zurmi, and Birnin Magaji local government regions,” he went on to kill some of the perpetrators.
Military officials have not yet issued a statement regarding the raid on Turji’s compound.