The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Whirl Punch have apprehended one of the masterminds of the 28 March, 2022 terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna Train service.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Musa Danmadami, a major general, made this known at the bi-weekly news briefing on the operations of the armed forces, on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Danmadami said the suspect was one of the three terrorists apprehended by the troops at Damba community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State on 14 February.
He said the operation led to the recovery of two motorcycles, mobile phones, the sum of 5,000 dollars, other currencies and some sundry items.
According to him, troops on fighting patrol also neutralised seven terrorists at Ungwan Birni in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
He said 83 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 50 rounds of 7.62mm special, and seven magazines, among other items, were recovered from the terrorists.
No fewer than eight people died while 168 others were declared missing when the Kaduna bound train was attacked in March 2022 with most of them kidnapped.
The hostages were released in batches with the last batch of 23 regaining their freedom on 5 October.
23 terrorists neutralised
Mr Danmadami also said troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, had within the period, neutralised 23 terrorists and arrested nine as well as rescued 23 abducted civilians.
According to him, the air component conducted a series of air interdiction operations to decimate and deny the terrorists freedom of action within the period under review.
“Specifically, on February 13, an air interdiction operation was conducted based on an intelligence report that terrorists had gathered for a wedding ceremony at a location within Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.
“Another air interdiction operation was conducted at identified terrorist locations within Kankara and Batsari Local Government Areas, all in Katsina State.
Feedback revealed that several terrorists were neutralised in both air strikes,” the defence spokesperson said.