Banditry: Seven killed, over 200 abducted in Niger community

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No fewer than seven persons were killed and about 200 villagers were abducted by armed bandits in Kuchi village, Munya local government area of Niger State.

It was gathered that the incident occurred on Friday night at about 7 PM.

It was learned that those who died include four members of the Joint Security Taskforce stationed in the area, as well as three members of the Kuchi community who tried to escape into the nearby bush.

Eyewitness accounts from the community said the bandits, numbering over 200, stormed the area at night on 100 motorcycles, each carrying three persons.

The sources explained that the gunmen conducted their operation without hindrance, overpowering the joint security forces for over three hours during a heavy downpour.

Our sources in the community also claimed the gunmen moved from house to house, taking time to pick their victims, who were mostly women, and broke into shops, carting away goods.

This incident comes two weeks after some bandits waylaid and kidnapped about thirty persons from two commercial vehicles along Mangoro village, about 15 kilometers from Sarkin Pawa, the local headquarters.

Our correspondent also learned that the victims are still in the hands of their abductors.

Confirming the incident, the Chairman of Munya LG, Mal Aminu Najume, disclosed that four security agents, including local vigilantes, lost their lives during a gunfight with about 300 bandits at 7 PM.

According to him, “These gunmen, numbering over 300, moved from house to house and dispossessed our people of their belongings. They abducted about 150 villagers, including women, and took them away in the rain.”

“For over three hours, they operated with no reinforcement from anywhere. They outnumbered the Joint Security Taskforce and succeeded in killing four of them, including some villagers.”

He attributed the constant attacks on communities in the area to the failure of the Kaduna State government to take adequate measures in addressing banditry, as is being done by the Niger State government.

The chairman insisted, “These bandits most often come from Kaduna State to operate in Niger State and return back. They move in their hundreds, and yet the security agents don’t see them. Even when the villagers alert them, no action is taken.”

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