Seven soldiers and 22 farmers were killed in a gunfight between troops of Operation Hadarin Daji and bandits near Kangon Garucci in Dangulbi district in the Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
“While some of the residents were killed after they were trapped while working on their farmlands, some of them were caught in a crossfire between soldiers and criminals.
“The attack was led by one Ali Kawajo, Damina and another bandits’ leader called ‘Black.’ Black has enslaved the majority of the farmers in the area as he frequently asks them to work on his farmlands,” said a resident, Sani Baba.
The spokesman of Operation Hadarin Daji, Captain Ibrahim Yahaya, could not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, troops of Sector 1 Operation Hadarin Daji in conjunction with troops deployed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Wanke in Gusau LG have killed at least seven bandits.
The Commander of the Joint Task Force, North-West, Operation Hadarin Daji, Major General Godwin Mutkut commended the troops for their bravery and resilience in dealing with the bandits.
He said the troops carried out the ambush operation along the route suspected to be used by bandits.
“Shortly after the encounter, troops proceeded in pursuit of other fleeing bandits, recovered one machine gun, ammunition and six motorcycles,” he said.
In Bauchi, bandits killed the village head of Kada village in Ningi Local Government Area, Mai Anguwa Ali, and five others.
They also killed one volunteer security and injured one army personnel in Gamji Village in a gun duel with the soldiers.
Others killed alongside the village head are Alhaji Ibrahim, Shuaibu Adamu, 45; Yunusa Adamu, 50, Umaru Sabo, 25; and Ali Aldo.
An eyewitness and member of the vigilante group in the area confirmed that the bandits invaded the area on a motorcycle at about 9pm on Tuesday.
Another resident who gave his name as Saleh said that the bandits burgled shops in the village, and catered away foodstuffs and two motorcycles.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ahmed Wakil, confirmed the incident.
He said, “We received a distress call that some bandits have attacked Kada village and Gamji village in Ningi LGA. The hoodlums came in large numbers and attack the two villages shooting sporadically as a result seven people were killed.”
“The operatives of the command in conjunction with the Nigeria Military engaged the hoodlums where three of the bandits were neutralized and the rest scamper in disarray to the nearby bush with possible gunshot wounds. One of our operatives, a soldier, was injured and rushed to the hospital where he is receiving treatment.
“Our operatives in conjunction with other sister agencies and local vigilantes were presently in the bush and cordon the bush in search of those hoodlums that perpetrated the attacks. The commissioner of police has directed the Area Commander to do everything possible within the ambit of the law to arrest the perpetrators,” Wakil added.
In a separate attack, gunmen stormed Yadagungume and kidnapped the wife, daughter and driver of Alhaji Lawan Maliya, a popular businessman in the area in the early hours of yesterday.
This came three days after the Bauchi State Police Command said it had recused 10 victims of kidnapping, neutralized two kidnappers, and arrested another in Ningi LG.
From Shehu Umar (Gusau) & Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi)