March 17, 2023

Fresh attack on Niger communities: 4 soldiers, 6 others killed by bandits

•Scores abducted, villagers flee affected communities; security on trail of bandits

  By Wole Mosadomi, Minna

Bandits have again launched a fresh attack on some communities in Niger State, killing 11 people, including a Major in the Nigerian Army and three other soldiers.

Also, six local vigilante members in the affected communities were killed by the bandits.

The blood-letting gunmen had killed the deceased within two days and also abducted no fewer than 60 villagers during the invasion.

The latest onslaught occurred in an ambush, during which the Major and four members of the local vigilante were killed at Igu village on the Sarkin Pawa-Kaduna Road, in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, Wednesday evening.

The vigilante members were part of the joint security operatives patrolling the area.

The soldiers, it was gathered, had successfully repelled the gunmen during a fierce gun battle in the same area, on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the soldiers and the vigilante members were on their way to recover the corpses of the slain vigilante members when the bandits,  who were in the forest rained bullets on them.

The bandits were said to be in the forest to bury some of their fighters killed during a fierce battle with Military on Tuesday and were trying to find an escape route with their injured members.

The casualties would have been more if not for the gallantry exhibited by the security operatives in neutralizing the gunmen.

The gunmen were said to be no fewer than 70, hence it was easy for them to overpower the few security men who were merely going to evacuate the dead bodies of their colleagues.

Recall that on Tuesday evening, bandits believed to be the same group had invaded Paikoro and Munya Local Government Areas of Niger State, during which a Village Head and a medical practitioner were killed and over 60 people mostly women and children abducted.

The communities invaded are Beni in Munya LGA and Adunu in Paikoro LGA of the state.

At Beni, the gunmen killed the Village Head, Alhaji Salihu Ahmed, who was said to be on his way from the farm and abducted about 20 people, mostly women and children.

Also at Adunu community, a medical practitioner, Joshua Bitrus was killed as he was attempting to escape from the “war zone” into the bush on hearing gunshots.

A retired police officer, Moses Tanko, including over 40 others were abducted from the community.

Those who were lucky to have cash of between N10,000 to 20,000 to pay as ransom to the bandits were released while others were whisked away.

The whereabouts of over 60 abducted were yet to be located as there is no link yet with the bandits.