Seven persons including five military officers and one Civil Defence Officer have been feared killed in a bandit attack on five communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
Ten other persons were kidnapped with seven motorcycles stolen and military vehicles burnt down in the attack carried out from Wednesday night into the early hours of Thursday morning.
The communities include Allawa, Manta, Gurmana, Bassa and Kokki all in Shiroro council.
Locals told Channels Television that the bandits as early as 2:00am on Thursday stormed the camp of the Joint Security Task Force comprised of the Army, Police, Civil Defence and vigilantes at Allawa and opened fire on them unaware, killing five soldiers and one Civil Defence Officer.
Many villagers were injured in the attack and are reported to be receiving treatment at various health centers.
Confirming the incident, Chairman, Shiroro Youth Movement, Mohammed Idris said the bandits armed with AK-47 numbering about 100 attacked each community for about five hours unchallenged.
“During the invasion, they killed one Alhaji Sale in Madalla community under Bassa ward and kidnapped four people and went away with two motorcycles.
“Also in Kokki Boddo a community under Gurmana ward, they abducted six people and took away five motorcycles; five people were also kidnapped in Manta ward,” Idris said.
Idris then appealed to both the Federal and State government to increase their effort in securing the lives of people at the various communities.
The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Abubakar Yusuf Kokki also confirmed that five soldiers and one Civil Defence Officer were killed in Allawa by bandits, who attacked their camp early on Thursday morning.
According to him, “the criminals took the personnel of the Joint Security Task Force unaware and opened fire on them. In the process, they burnt down the camp to ashes including the operational vehicles and also killed about six personnel (five Army Officers and one Civil Defence Officer) while many others sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries.”
He explained that Allawa before the attack was one of the few towns standing in Lakpma axis of Shiroro local government that have 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 efforts by criminals through crude means to depopulate us which from all indications.”
However, efforts to get the reaction of the Police in the state. failed as calls put through the Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun was not picked as at the time of filing this report.