THREE soldiers and five people of Kabasa village of Maru Local Government Area in Zamfara State were said to have lost their lives during an encounter with the bandits.
Seven others who sustained serious injuries were now receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Magami town.
A resident of the area, Malam Mohammed said the bandits were engaged in a fight with the people of Kabasa village who came out en masse to protect themselves when the bandits entered into their village.
According to Mohammed, the bandits were in the village for reprisals following the killing of their people by the villagers in an ambush some weeks ago.
He said, “We got information that the bandits were planning to attack us in a mosque during Friday prayers; as such, we mobilised ourselves and moved to the forest where we ambushed them, killing many of them.
“That was why they came back to attacked us yesterday in order to avenge the killing of their kinsmen.”
He maintained that the bandits who were on motorcycles invaded the village in Tuesday evening where they were squarely faced by the villagers who were ready to defend themselves.
“The bandits and the villagers fought for more than three hours before the military, who were stationed in Magami town, came to the village to help them,” Mohammed added.
He stated that during the encounter, three soldiers and five people of the village were killed.
Efforts to get comments from the Operation Hadarin Daji proved abortive.
According to an army officer, who pleaded anonymity, only the Defence Headquarters in Abuja can speak to the press on issues related to information dissemination.