Three suspected gun runners have been arrested by troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, deployed for Operation WHIRL PUNCH in Rijau area of Niger State.

At least 44 rifles were recovered from the suspect.

The spokesman for the 1 Division Nigerian Army, Colonel Muhammad Dole, in a statement issued in Kaduna on Wednesday, identified the three suspected gun runners as Aminu Umar, Shehu Samaila and Bilyaminu Abdullahi.

They were arrested on Tuesday during a Stop and Search operation at Rijau, Colonel Dole said.

"The troops recovered 44 fabricated locally made single barrel rifles and 351 cartridges being conveyed in a Toyota Corolla registered ZUR 28 DX Kebbi.”

According to him, preliminary investigation revealed that the suspected gun runners were heading to Bena in Danko/Wasagu Local Government Area of Kebbi, which shares boundary with Zamfara.

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“The arrest is similar to that of Mr Rabi’u Akilu who was found in possession of 36 rifles and 343 rounds of ammunition neatly concealed in another Toyota Corolla heading to Zamfara State in November 2018,” he added.

He also said interrogation of the suspects was ongoing, and urged motorists to share credible information with the Army and other security agencies.

The spokesman for the 1 Division further reassured Nigerians in the region that "troops of 1 Division conducting Operation WHIRL PUNCH will remain resolutely committed to combating all forms of criminality in our Area of Operation". 

Nigeria has continued to battle terrorists in the northeast while arms wielding herdsmen and farmers have clashed in the middle belt, with several lives lost.  

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