Following the disclosure of the Nigerian Police that it neutralised 250 terrorists and bandits in Kudaru forest, in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, residents said the police might have left the corpses inside the forest. Sources around the area told Daily Trust that villages close to Kudaru forest had been deserted for years due to the activities of bandits.

Villagers around Dogon Dawa town which is close to the forest said they had noticed increased police vehicles and personnel moving towards the forest on Tuesday, but said no corpse was moved out after the operation. “The police must have left the bodies inside the forest because nobody saw them moving bodies either of the bandits or their personnel from the forest. And the forest is not safe for us to go and verify,” a source told Daily Trust.

He said: “all the villages around Kudaru forest have been deserted because the forest has been under the control of the bandits. Anybody you see living around that forest must be a member of the terrorists or bandits if not, they would have killed him.”

It was also gathered that Kudaru forest which is immediately after Maidaro forest had been used by the bandits as a training camp for years. Another source emphasised that; “just few days ago some people were kidnapped at Randagi village which also shares a boundary with Kudaru forest through the western part of Birnin Gwari town.” “Birnin Gwari for your information shares boundaries with Katsina, Niger, Zamfara States and Chikun Local government Areas of Kaduna.

So it’s a very big forest and the terrorists operating there are in thousands and do so with impunity,” he said When contacted for his reaction, Force spokesman Frank Mba, said: “The truth is that we inflicted huge damage on them, by the time we pulled out in the night, the information we have is that the terrorist buried their own.” Earlier in a statement yesterday, Mba said the Force lost one Inspector Muhammad Abubakar to the Wednesday’s raid.

The Force spokesman, Frank Mba, in a statement, said Inspector Abubakar, attached to the Police Special Forces, died as a result of injuries sustained in the heat of the combat. He said 13 other officers made up of 2 SPs, 1 DSP, 4 Inspectors and 6 Sergeants including the Pilot and Co-pilot of the Police helicopter, sustained different degrees of injuries and are currently receiving treatment.” He said the Late Abubakar was one of the finest officers of the Police Special Forces with vast training and operational background, both at home and abroad.

He said exhibits recovered by the police during the operation included “11 AK47 rifles, 730 rounds of live AK47 ammunition, 152 rounds of GPMG ammunition in two chains, 13 pairs of military camouflage uniforms, 2 cartons and 48 sachets of tramadol, four facemasks, phones and other electronic gadgets which are currently subject of forensic investigations.” He asked citizens living in and around Birnin-Gwari axis of Kaduna State have to be on the lookout for fleeing bandits, especially those with bullet wounds and report every suspicious behaviour to the police.

Mba also said one Haruna Basullube, one of the most wanted kidnappers/cattle rustlers and one Bashir Leta, another bandits’ commander, were killed. Mba also said one Malam Abba, commander of Boko Haram camp in Kuduru Forest and one Mofa, a notorious kidnapper were critically injured.

He said as mop-up operations continue, the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu had deployed detectives and special forensic investigators from the Force Headquarters to expedite investigations into the criminal enterprise of the group and their associates.

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