11 killed as bandits kidnap 7 in Niger State


No fewer than 11 persons were killed following invasion of bandits on Kukoki Village in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State on Tuesday night.

According to reports, the bandits kidnapped the district head of Madaka Alhaji Zakari Yau, his wife and the village head of Kukoki.

This is coming barely 48 hours after 11 people were killed in another community in Koki, Shiroro Local Government. The attack was said to have occurred on Sunday morning while people were preparing to go to church.

The secretary of the district council and a retired soldier were among six people abducted.

It was reliably gathered that the bandits, numbering over 20 stormed the district at about 10p.m. on Tuesday and started shooting sporadically into the air before they burgled houses of the villagers.

The bandits, who came with 15 motorcycles were said to have ransacked houses and shops in the community and looted foods and other valuables including cattle and sheep.

A source close to Kukoki village told our correspondent that before the arrival of security operatives, the bandits had disappeared into the bush.

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In an apparent confirmation of the incidents, the state government said it has mobilised security operatives to carryout air and land surveillance with the sole aim of tracking and arresting the bandits.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, said security operatives have been directed, “to fish out and flush out bandits terrorising the communities.”

He assured members of the state thus: “Niger State Government is working alongside security apparatus in the state to stem the tide of pandemonium at the flash points, so as to bring succour and peace to the affected and surrounding communities. The state government is aware that the bandits are crossing over from neighbouring states such as Zamfara and Kaduna axis to Allawa and Erena axis and from Brini-Gwari adjacent Kamuku National Park. We will do everything to stop their migration into the state.”

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