At least 17 persons are feared killed by bandits in Dukku community in Rijau local government area of Niger State.
Eyewitnesses said the attackers stormed the community at about 7:00 pm on Wednesday, and also attacked a bank at Kagara in Rafi local government area.
The attackers were said to have laid ambush on the community for several hours before unleashing mayhem on the people.
Those killed were mostly members of the local vigilante group in the area who had attempted to combat the gunmen but were overpowered.
A resident of the community told Channels Television via Telephone conversation that the bandits numbering over 120 stormed the community on bikes with sophisticated weapons.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Muhammed Sani Idris however said people were killed, but that the casualty figure was yet to be ascertained.
“Many people were killed quite okay. But, we cannot tell the exact number of persons that were killed. We are still trying to gather more facts on the incident, and as soon as we have an official figure, I would communicate to you,” Idris said in a telephone conversation with our reporter in Minna the Niger State capital.
Meanwhile, Governor Abubakar Bello in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje, on Thursday, has appealed to residents of Kagara to remain calm, assuring that the government is deploying resources at its disposal to ensure the protection of their lives and property.
According to the Governor, “No responsible government will fold its arms and allow law-abiding and innocent citizens to be mauled down.”
The Governor acknowledged the enormity of the security challenges facing the state but assured the people that the state in active collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies remain undaunted in its war against the lower societal elements making life miserable for the people.
The Governor commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack and prayed for a speedy recovery for the injured victims.
He solicited the cooperation of the people for their useful information to the security agencies, assuring them that their identity will be kept confidential.
Similarly, the Police in Niger State confirmed the killing of 11 persons in Wednesday’s attack at Kagara in Rafi local government area of the state.
Commissioner of Police Adamu Usman gave the confirmation shortly after visiting the area with some of his men.
He said six of the attackers were killed by policemen during the incident on Wednesday.
Usman however revealed that a policeman, a private security guard, a local vigilante, and one resident were gunned down by the gunmen, while a boy died from shock.
Speaking on the attack on the bank, CP Usman said the attackers were unable to gain access to the bank due to heavy firepower from the Policemen who scared the attackers away.