The attacks on soft targets in Zamfara State are bandits’ reaction to the deadly force utilized by the Nigerian military in recent weeks.
The past few days witnessed killing of defenseless civilians already enduring a life of anxiety, food shortage, sounds of gunfire and fear of invasion.
While some of the outlaws have vowed to fight till their last breathe, others are embracing peace to avoid aerial bombardments and ground raids.
Last week, fleeing bandits murdered scores of Nigerians in communities along Anka and Bukkuyum towns. The assault was widely condemned.
However, leaders at Shinkafi and Tsafe areas have reached out to the government for truce, while releasing hostages to security forces.
But the recalcitrant ones and foot soldiers have been targeting locals residing in escape routes, rustling animals and looting.
An intelligence operative told PRNigeria that the villages include Barayar Zaki, Rafin Gero, Rafin Danya and Kurfa.
Assuring of sustained military onslaught, he confirmed the annihilation of a number of bandit commanders and fighters.
The labelling of bandits as terrorists has also given the Armed Forces the legitimate right to deploy full might during operations.
“Realising the implication of the tagging of banditry as terrorism by the federal government, some bandit leaders have freed large numbers of captives in Shinkafi, Tsafe and Kaura.
A non-kinetic approach by the state government and security agencies, spearheaded by the intelligence service of the Nigerian military, is helping to facilitate the release of more abductees”, the source revealed.
Disclosing that offensives are continuing in areas where the terrorists are proving stubborn, the officer said combat pilots are being careful not to bomb civilians and people being held in forests.