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NIGER: Bandits kill seven, abduct 10, invade joint forces camp

BANDITS reportedly went on the rampage in various communities, including camp of Joint Security Task Force, in the Shiroro Local Government Area of the state two days ago.

Seven persons, including five soldiers, were allegedly killed while the heinous operation lasted.

Apart from wreaking havoc on lives, the bandits also abducted over 10 persons, stole seven motorcycles and burnt down military vehicles during the attacks.

The coordinated attacks, which left villagers confused and scampering for safety, were said to have been launched in two consecutive days.

The communities attacked include Allawa, Manta, Gurmana, Bassa and Kokki, all in the Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

It was also gathered that the bandits stormed the camp of the Joint Security Task Force comprising the Army, police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and vigilantes around 2am yesterday at Allawa and opened fire on them, killing five soldiers and one NSCDC operative, while many sustained varying degree of injury.

Eyewitness said the bandits attacked Manta, Gurmana and Bassa villages two days ago, where they killed one Alhaji Sale in Madalla under the Bassa ward, and kidnapped four persons and went away with two motorcycles.

Confirming the incident, the President, Shiroro Youth Movement/Chairman MHWUN-SHLGA in Bassa, Gurmana and Manta, Mohammed Sani Idris, said the bandits, numbering about 100 and armed with AK-47 rifles, attacked the communities for about five hours unchallenged.

He stated, “During the invasion, they killed one Alhaji Sale in Madalla community under Bassa ward and kidnapped four people and made away with two motorcycles.

“Also, in Kokki Boddo a community under Gurmana ward, they abducted six persons and took away five motorcycles; five persons were also kidnapped in the Manta ward.”

Idris appealed to both the federal and state governments to double up their efforts in ensuring the security of lives of the residents of the various communities.

Speaking on the attack, co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Kokki, said five soldiers and one NSCDC operative were killed in Allawa by bandits, who attacked their camp in the early hours of Thursday.

“The criminals took the personnel of the Joint Security Task Force unawares and opened fire on them. In the process, they successfully burnt down the camp to ashes, including operational vehicles, and also gruesomely killed about six personnel (five soldiers and one civil defence officer), while many others sustained various degrees of gunshot injury.”

He explained that Allawa, before the attack, was one the few towns standing in the Lakpma area of the local government that had not been invaded in the recent past.

Lamenting the rate of attacks by bandits in the area, Kokki said, “We, the affected victims, view this phenomenon from the angle of ethnic cleansing as we have been abandoned to our fate. As a result of sheer negligence from the authorities constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of providing adequate security to the citizenry, there is deliberate effort by criminals through crude means to depopulate us, which from all indications they are coasting to their target.”

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