11 soldiers lost their lives in Niger ambush
No less that 11 men of the Nigerian Army lost their lives in Niger state today after they were ambushed by armed bandits.
In a statement released on Saturday, Sani Kukasheka Usman, the army spokesman, said the soldiers went on a search following surveillance and intelligence reports on the activities of some gunrunners and armed bandits in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of the Bosso local government area in the state.
Usman said upon arrival at the aforementioned areas, the troops came under “simultaneous and sporadic shootings in all the three locations”.
“Sadly, an officer and eight soldiers of the Nigerian army and two airmen of the Nigeria air force lost their lives in the line of national duty. Additionally, one soldier is still missing while two of their colleagues were seriously wounded, ” he said.
“The suspected gunrunners and armed bandits also burnt down four operational vehicles and vandalised two others. Bandits also carted away four AK-47 rifles and one Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle belonging to the deceased soldiers.
“The troops also killed eight of the armed bandits and arrested 57 others. They also recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition.”
The army spokesman explained that the activities of these gun runners and the bandits had direct bearing with the influx of weapons and insecurity in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the north west geo-political zone of the country.
Usman said it had also been confirmed that these gunrunners were the suppliers of arms to robbery gangs involved in series of attacks along the Minna-Bida road and environs.
While stating that the situation was under control, he said that the military would continue to deal with any violent threat to national security.
He called on all law-biding citizens to go about their lawful duties, as the search operation continues in the area.
Some of the recovered items include three AK-47 rifles, 10 Local AK-47 rifles, nine locally made pistols, six revolver guns, which fires 7.62mm (Special ammunition), 45 Loaded dane guns, 10 clubs and cudgels, 41 Arrows, 18 Bow cases, 122 cutlasses and machetes.