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Niger Burns As Bandits Kill Security Men, Kidnap Four Expatriates
Scores of security men, including soldiers and policemen, have been feared killed by bandits during an attack on a mining site at Ajata, Aboki, around Gurmana Ward, in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to the Newsmen the bandits, who injured scores of people during the invasion on Wednesday, also kidnapped four expatriates.
The Convener, Shiroro Youth, Sani Kokki, on Thursday, said the people were working at the mining site when the bandits invaded the premises and opened fire on the workers and security men.
He said, “A large number of heartless terrorists well equipped with weapons stormed the village and went to a mining site owned by expatriates and started unleashing mayhem on unsuspecting victims.
“Seven mobile policemen attached to the mining site and providing security cover for the expatriates, and six other civilians were gruesomely killed; scores of others sustained varying degrees of multiple gunshot injuries.
“On getting wind of the development, the Nigerian Army stationed nearby swung into action by engaging them in fire for fire. Unfortunately, six soldiers were gunned down, while many others sustained gunshot injuries.”
A source at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Specialist Hospital, however, said 31 bodies of soldiers were brought in for embalmment.
“As of this moment, we have counted 31 bodies of soldiers brought in to be embalmed,” the medical worker said.
The Brigade Commander, 31 Field Artillery, Brigadier General Y. Yahaya, could not be reached on his phone.
However, the Niger State Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar, said four expatriates were kidnapped.
Umar, who spoke to PUNCH Metro, said he was awaiting the heads of agencies to give the number of those killed.
He insisted that the concern of the state government was the arrest of the culprits and release of the expatriates.
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Berje, ordered a manhunt for the terrorists.
He described the killing of the security agents and kidnap of expatriates as worrisome.