A TEAM of “Operation Puff Adder”, led by the Divisional Police Officer in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State, at the weekend engaged 300 suspected bandits in a gun duel.
Ten persons were feared dead and five were injured. Five vehicles and four motorcycles were set ablaze.
The suspects, who were on motorcycles, were armed with weapons.
They had attacked Kirtawa village, but following a distress call by residents of neighbouring villages, the police raced to the scene and engaged them in a gun battle.
Spokesman Gambo Isah said in a statement that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for Safana initially led the teams of “Operations Puff Adder and Sharan-Daji” to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel.
He added: “The hoodlums shot the tyres of the Armoured Personnel Vehicle and injured one soldier and a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel.
“At the time the combined ground forces were mobilized to the village, the hoodlums had escaped into the forest. Ten persons were feared dead and five were injured. Five vehicles and four motorcycles were set ablaze.”
Isah said the hoodlums rustled cows, adding that investigations showed that it was a reprisal carried out by the criminals against the community.
He said joint security forces have been deployed in the area to restore peace and arrest the fleeing hoodlums.
“The command commiserates with the bereaved families and other Katsina State residents over the incident.
“It assures the people that security forces are mapping out strategies to end banditry.”