No fewer than 14 people are reported dead following bandit attacks on villages in Kwata ward in Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State.
The victims comprised mostly women and children who were running for their lives during the attack.
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Scores of others were said to have ran into a river to escape the attack but, unfortunately, got drowned.
Sources from the area said the bodies of the victims were being recovered and buried while several others were still missing.
It was also gathered that seven people were shot by the bandits out of whom four were confirmed dead while two others were receiving treatment at the IBB Specialist Hospital, Minna.
In all, 14 people were said to have lost their lives while the community was still counting its losses as some families said they have not found their members and relatives.
The Bandits were said to have also rustled several cows, snatched motorcycles and kidnapped people, especially girls.
It was learnt that villagers in the area have deserted their homes and hundreds of people are now in Wushishi town.
People in the area accused authorities of not making any effort to help them.
They said, “Certainly, up to this moment no effort was made by the government and the security agencies to safeguard the people or offer any kind of intervention to the IDPs.
“Currently the bandits are around the villages en-route Tashan Jirgin Wushishi to Kundu in Rafi Local Government Area.
“The fear now is that the villages and passengers plying the road may be badly affected by the activities of the bandits.”
In a related development, bandits numbering about 10 have attacked Batati in Lavun Local Government Area of the state.
An eyewitness said the shop of one Kolade Olushoshola at Batati and other shops by the major road to Mokwa were attacked and looted.
It was gathered that valuables including laptops and mobile phones were carted away.
Narrating the incident, a source from the village said the bandits arrived at Batati in a white Hilux vehicle and performed congregational Isha’i (evening) prayer with members of the community before firing into the air, forcing petty traders and hawkers to abandon their places of business.
One person, who was at one of the shops to buy a recharge card, was injured by the bandits.
The attackers, according to the source, disengaged through Gbangbagi community to the forest of Fazhi and Kutigi, the headquarters of Lavun Local Government after several hours of operation.
Meanwhile, an attempt to get reaction and confirmation from the police was unsuccessful as calls and messages put across to the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, were not going through.