MINNA – It was a very sad day in the battle to push for an end to the reign of terrorists in Niger State as a Major and no fewer than 10 soldiers lost their lives in an ambush by armed bandits.
Also, an unspecified number of local vigilantes lost their lives during a fierce encounter between them and gunmen at Zungeru in Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State….CONTINUE READING
Eight other soldiers, who were lucky to have survived the ambush, were seriously injured during the gun duel with the armed bandits on Sunday.
The armed bandits said to be numbering about 70 and fully armed with sophisticated weapons came face-to-face with the soldiers who were also said to have defended themselves haven fought the gunmen to a standstill and successfully eliminating over 30 of them and several others with gunshots injuries.
The soldiers, it was learnt, had sent for reinforcement and went after some of the armed bandits currently hibernating inside surrounding forest as the soldiers were said to have sustained their offensive against the criminals.
Daily Independent sources said the soldiers were on their way to respond to a distress call from Akare community where the armed bandits had gone to rustle some cattle.
Unfortunately, the soldiers were given wrong information about the movements of the armed bandits, hence they ran into their ambush, a source from the community said.
“The soldiers fought gallantly to defend themselves notwithstanding, and about 30 of the armed bandits were neutralised in the encounter and their bodies littered inside the forest while those that were injured were taken away”.
The source, who, however, observed that the armed bandits were looking almost completely different from what many of them looked like in the past said, “The physical and long hairs of the armed bandits that fought Nigerian soldiers yesterday is different from the ones that have been terrorising our people”, thereby fueling suspicious that they maybe foreign mercenaries hired to carry out the attacks on the communities.
Further details indicate that while the bodies of the slain soldiers were deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Zungeru, before they were evacuated on Monday morning to unknown destination, the corpses of the suspected mercenaries still litter the nearby bushes.
Already, as a result of the encounter, civilians in Akere, Wushishi and neighbouring communities have abandoned their homes and are now taking refuge at Zungeru town, the source also explained.
Efforts to confirm the recent attacks was not successful as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Internal Security, Alhaji Taureek Abdulrahim, did not pick his phone when our correspondent tried to reach him.
However, an officer at the 31 Artillery Brigade, Minna, when contacted directed our correspondent to the Director of Communications, Nigeria Army, saying, “We are not allowed to speak to the press, please contact Abuja”.
Meanwhile, the people of Wushishi, Zungeru and neighbouring communities have been gripped with fear following heavy deployment of security personnel to the troubled area to fish out the criminals that are responsible for the series of attacks as they were said to be stranded inside the bush with rustled cattle and their injured ones as well.
Another NAF Aircraft Crashes In Niger
In another development, a Nigerian Airforce (NAF) aircraft has crashed on its way to Niger State, it was learnt on Monday.
It was gathered that the aircraft, which took off from Kaduna State going to Minna, Niger State, crashed in Niger, but details were initially sketchy.
But the NAF confirmed that the aircraft, MI-171, on a casualty evacuation mission crashed on Monday, 14 August 2023 at about 1300 hours (1pm) near Chukuba village in Niger State.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information, said the aircraft had departed Zungeru Primary School en route Kaduna but was later discovered to have crashed near Chukuba village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to him, efforts were ongoing to rescue the crew and passengers on board the helicopter, adding that preliminary investigations had begun to determine the probable cause of the crash….CONTINUE READING
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