Niger: 24 hrs after Buhari’s warning bandits raid village, kill 2, abduct village head’s children, counsellors’ wives, 64 others

For three days running, armed bandits have intensified their raid on communities in Munya, Niger State, the latest being the invasion of Zagaga community in the early hours of Wednesday, where two victims were killed and 66 others abducted.

Among those killed are two youths providing voluntary security services in the community due to the absence of security agents, and a local vigilante who was hacked to death.

Three other youths sustained gunshot injuries, one of them having his right leg broken, and are currently at a government facility in Minna, the state capital, receiving treatments.

A source close to the community who spoke to newsmen yesterday, two children of the village head, Musa Umaru, two wives of the counsellor representing Zagaga Ward, Saleh Adamu, are among the 66 people, including women and children that were abducted by the bandits.

The bandits, numbering over 80, stormed the community at about 1:00 am, shooting sporadically to announce their arrival and in the process shooting their ill-equipped victims at close range, reports say.

According to a source, the raid, which lasted until 4:00 yesterday without resistance, caused the bandits to break into no fewer than 11 shops and several homes, where they looted provisions and other food items.

The source said the victims, especially women, were used to evacuate all the looted items in sacks as they matched them through the bush path, heading towards a place called Mangoro and Pole.

For the four hours that the operation lasted, the source said no security agent came to the rescue of the community, despite communications with them throughout the operation.

Recall that the military, on April 23 this year closed down its camp stationed in the community since 2018, after armed bandits numbering about 70 invaded the camp and killed the RSM and injured others.

The military were also said to have, during the bloody attack which community sources said lasted for over three hours, killed a number of the bandits.

Ever since the military shot down its camp in the community, there has been no security presence in the area, with the people relying on ill-equipped local vigilantes for security.

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