At least six persons, among them a pregnant woman, have been reportedly killed by bandits in communities in Rafi and Wushishi local government areas of Niger State.
Daily Trust also gathered that no fewer than 50 people were also reportedly kidnapped between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
Residents said before an intervention by both ground troops and air component of the Nigeria Air Force, whom they said engaged the bandits in a fierce gun duel for several hours on Wednesday morning, about six communities had been under bandits’ siege since Tuesday.
Multiple sources told Daily Trust that bandits had held Yakila, Hana-wanka and Kundu communities in Rafi LGA and other communities in Akare axis, Wushishi LGA under siege since Tuesday night up till Wednesday morning.
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A resident of Zungeru, a few kilometers from Yakila and Kundu, said the corpses of some of the victims were conveyed on Wednesday morning to Minna, the state capital.
“They (bandits) have been actually operating since Tuesday. And there are casualties because this morning (Wednesday), we saw dead bodies being conveyed to Minna. Among the communities attacked were Yakila and several others around Akare axis.” One of the sources said.
Some residents said some people were killed by stray bullets when the military engaged the bandits in a fierce gun battle that lasted for several hours on Wednesday morning.
Daily Trust gathered that some abductees were caught in the crossfire when bandits used them as human shields.
Phone calls placed to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, indicated he was not reachable. He had also yet to reply to a text message sent to him.
Similarly, the Niger State Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar, could not also be reached via phone call. He had also yet to respond to a message sent to his phone.
In another incident, a widow simply identified as ‘matan Boda’ and her two children have been reportedly abducted by gunmen in Beji town in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
Beji is about 20 minutes’ drive from Minna, Niger State capital and commercial hub with a popular Wednesday market.
Daily Trust gathered that the woman was kidnapped at her late husband’s residence around 1am on Wednesday.
A resident said while the widow was being taken away along with some of her tenants and her two daughters, one of the male tenants escaped.
The PPRO could also not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.