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Nigerian troops have killed 58 armed bandits and freed 75 kidnapped victims in recent operations in troubled areas of Zamfara state, north Nigeria.

In a statement reaching Xinhua on Wednesday, army spokesperson Clement Abiade said the troops of Operation Sharan Daji came into contact with “a large gang of bandits armed with sophisticated arms” at Dumburum and Gando forests of the state on Sunday.

The troops killed 58 bandits and captured one alive in the fierce gun battles which lasted several hours, Abiade said.

He revealed two soldiers and two members of the vigilante had been killed in the encounters, and eight soldiers and six vigilantes sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries.

Recent years have witnessed security challenges in Zamfara, the rural state which used to be peaceful but is currently troubled by conflicts between farmers and pastoralists.

Bandit attacks have left dozens of persons killed and thousands displaced in Zamfara since December 2018.

The Nigerian government deployed in December additional security forces and military aircraft in Zamfara and neighboring Sokoto state to step up the fighting against armed bandits. Enditem

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