From John Adams, Minna
Hundreds of armed bandits invaded a military base in Alawa, Shiroro, Niger State, in the early hours of Thursday, killing five soldiers and a mobile policeman.
Seven villagers were also killed during the attack which lasted about two hours.
The entire military camp was razed down by the bandits who stormed the base at about 2:00 am when soldiers had just returned to the base from area patrol.
They stormed Allawa village riding on motorcycles and brandishing AK-47 rifles.
After the invasion of the military base, the bandits moved to the communities where they killed seven people and abducted a number of villagers on fire have allegedly killed seven persons including five military officers in attacks on communitiess in Shiroro Local Government of Niger State.
They were also said to have abducted over ten persons, stolen seven motorcycles and burnt down military vehicles, among others, in attacks they unleashed Wednesday and early morning of Thursday at 2 am that led the villagers confused and scampering for safety.
The communities include Allawa, Manta, Gurmana, Bassa and Kokki in Shiroro Council.
The bandits 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 unware killing five soldiers and one civil defence officer, while many sustained various degree of injuries.
A popular businessman in Bassa village in the area, whose name was given as Alhaji Sule, was also killed on his farm by the armed men who also made away with several motorcycles belonging to the villagers.
The bandits caught the security operatives unawares, with six soldiers and one mobile policeman felled by bullets, their weapons and camp set ablaze.
The Co-convener of the Concerned Shiroro Youth, Mr Abubakar Yussuf Koki, who spoke to our correspondent on telephone, said Shiroro has become a war zone with bandits ransacking homes, killing and maiming innocent villagers.
‘Their intention is to rid the area of security presence so that they will always have a field day,’ Koki said
‘We have been left on our own, nobody is coming to our assistance,’ he lamented.
When contacted, the Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, confirmed the incident.
‘Yes, there was an attack at our army base at Allawa, usually it is a deployment point we deploy soldiers and security agencies to black spots in that area from that base.
‘Allawa, you know, is a huge forest; it has become a sanctuary for bandits. What we have done is to deploy security agencies to be able to address and respond to attacks in that area. Unfortunately, this is what happened,’ Matane said.
He said security agencies, including the Commissioner of Police and the Brigade Commander, have been despatched to the area ‘to verify and validate what has happened.’