Bandits have allegedly killed seven persons, including five soldiers, in the latest attacks on communities in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The bandits were said to have abducted over 10 persons, stole seven motorcycles and burnt down military vehicles during attacks on Wednesday and the early hours of Thursday, which left the villagers confused and scampering for safety.
The communities include Allawa, Manta, Gurmana, Bassa and Kokki, all in the Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.
Our corresondent learnt 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 on Thursday 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 on Wednesday, 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.
When contacted, the Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Kokki, told our correspondent that 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.”
However, efforts to get the reaction of the state police command failed as calls put across to the Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, rang out as of the time of filing this report.