Bandits have shot dead five vigilantes and one hunter in an ambush at Lafiya-Kpada-Duma forest in Niger state.
Daily trust learnt that six other vigilantes sustained various degrees of bullet wounds in the ambush.
A member of the vigilante who was part of the operation but preferred to be anonymous said the incident happened on Friday afternoon after some vigilantes from the FCT and Niger state mobilised to the forest to rescue about 22 farmers that were abducted at a farm at Rafin-Daji community in Abaji area council of Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said the vigilantes and hunters were approaching the forest some kilometers from Laifya Kpdada-Duma communities, in which he said the bandits laid ambush and opened fire on their members.
According to him, some of the bandits that were hiding on top of the trees upon sighting the vigilantes opened fire and killed five of their members including a hunter.
“It was raining bullets when the bandits laid ambush on us, as some of them were sitting on top of the trees. Upon sighting us, they opened fire. I can’t even say how I managed to escape,” he said.
The source further said that the five vigilantes and the hunter died due to excessive loss of blood, saying the road leading from the forest to Yaba was not motorable to enable them to take the deceased to the hospital.
Our reporter who visited the accident and emergency unit of the Abaji General Hospital saw six of the vigilantes with various bullets being attended to by medical personnel on duty, while relatives, friends and family members of the injured vigilantes’ troupe into the hospital to sympathize with them.
Daily Trust further reliably gathered that the bandit’s hideout is a reserve forest under Lapai Local Government Area of Niger state, which connects to Yaba in Abaji area council of Abuja.
The spokesman of the FCT police command ASP Oduniyi Omotayo, was yet to comment on the incident, as he is yet to respond to the text message sent to him up till the time of filing this report.