At least 22 soldiers and seven police officers were among the numerous victims of bandits attacks on Wednesday in Northern Nigeria’s Niger and Taraba States.
In an ambush, 15 soldiers were killed in Niger and 7 in Taraba, and there was also property damage.
Government representatives in the two states have denounced the attacks, but as of the time this report was filed, Abuja’s military high command has not contacted them.
It was gathered that when the terrorists, acting on prior knowledge, lay siege on the road, the soldiers from the 45 Battalion, Bida, were on a rescue operation.
Earlier, a group of the terrorists assaulted a Chinese-run mining operation at Ajata-Aboki in the Gurmana Ward of the state’s Shiroro Local Government Area.
Seven mobile police officers defending the area as well as some soldiers at a neighboring Erena settlement were killed during the raid.
According to numerous sources, the attackers, who number over 300, drove motorcycles while armed to the teeth with high-tech weapons and warned the locals not to worry because they were not coming for them.
News Central gathered that a villager who refused the bandits’ request for him to direct them to the location was shot to death.
A planned reinforcement by the 45 battalion, Bida soldiers stationed at Unguwan Maji settlement in Erena Ward was cut short when their vehicle became stopped due to the poor terrain on the approach.
The bandits ambushed the soldiers while they were responding to a distress call, leaving 15 dead and eight more missing.
“The battalion in Bida was specifically created to handle the deteriorating security situation around Shiroro and Zungero axis,” he said.
In contrast to the 15 reported by one of our security sources, residents claimed to have counted 30 army bodies following the assault.
According to reports, the soldiers engaged the terrorists for several hours starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until early yesterday morning.
In a statement issued by his chief press secretary Mary Noel-Berje, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello denounced the assault.
It is important to note that the Tagbari/ Sarkin Pawa Road connects Shiroro with the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway in just 130 kilometers.
The Shiroro Power Station, a hydroelectric power plant on the Kaduna River in Niger State with a power generating capacity of 600 megawatts (800,000 hp), which is sufficient to power more than 404,000 dwellings, is another reason Shiroro is an important town.
It adds a sizeable amount of megawatts to the national grid and provides electricity to a large number of states in the north central and north western regions of the nation.
Since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, thousands of them have died, and the Nigerian military has also been victimised by other criminal activities with other identities.
After years of devastating numerous communities in the North East, ISWAP and Ansaru-affiliated terrorists have recently infected Niger and other states in the North Central and North West.
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