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Armed Bandits Kill 11 Soldiers In Niger State

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At least one officer, 8 soldiers and two airmen were‎ shot dead on Satuday

during a military operation in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of Bosso

Local Government Area, Niger State.
According to statement released late Saturday night by Nigria’s Army

Spokesman, Col.Sani Usman also confirmed that one sol‎dies is still

missing while two others suffered serious injuries.

“Following covert surveillance and intelligence reports on the activities

of some gun runners and armed bandits in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of

Bosso Local Government Area, Niger State, troops of 31 Artillery Brigade,

1 Division Nigerian Army, in conjunction with Nigeria Air Force detachment

on Internal Security  Operation MESA went on quick cordon and search in

the affected areas to recover suspected weapon cache and arrest the

suspected persons and the armed bandits.
“Contrary to  statements attributed to some questionable vested interests,

the troops were on legitimate official duty aimed at safeguarding lives

and property of citizen in the area.
While approaching and deploying to carry out their lawful duty,  the

troops came under  simultaneous and sporadic shootings in all the three

locations. They however responded as necessary in line with the rules of

engagement. Sadly, an officer and 8 soldiers of the Nigerian Army and 2

Airmen of the Nigeria Air Force lost their lives in the line of national

duty. Additionally, one soldier is still missing while 2 of their

colleagues were seriously wounded.
“The suspected gun runners and armed bandits also burnt down 4 operational

vehicles and vandalized 2 others.  Bandits also carted away 4 AK-47 rifles

and one Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle belonging to the deceased soldiers.

“The troops also killed 8 of the armed bandits and arrested 57 others.

They also recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition. The recovered

items include; 3 AK-47 rifles,10 Local AK-47 Rifles, 9 Locally made

Pistols, 6 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 as well as  20 Daggers. Other items recovered

include 31 Axes, 63 rounds of 7.62 (Special) Ammunition, 10 Bajaj

Motorcycles, Assorted Charms and Amulets, 2 Vehicles, 38 mobile telephone

handsets, a wristwatch, 5 Identity Cards,  Passport Photographs, Cash sum

of N23,870.00k, 5 Japanese Yen and 35 different denominations of old

Nigerian currency, 15 Catapults, 8 Torchlights, 2 Gun Powder bottles, 4

empty cases of Ammunition and 41 Cartridges. The troops also seized a

military Waist Belt and a pair of military Combat Boots.

“It is important to stress that the nefarious activities of the gun

runners and the armed bandits has direct bearing with the influx of

weapons and general insecurity in some parts of the Federal Capital

Territory and the North West geo-political zone of the country.

“The same gun runners have been confirmed to be the suppliers of arms to

armed robbery gangs that were involved in series of armed robbery attacks

along Minna-Bida road and the general environment.
” Although the situation is under control, the military will not rest on

its oars until all those involved are arrested and brought to justice. The

military will continue to deal with any violent threat to our national

security. All law abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their lawful

duties as the cordon and search operation continues in the general area

and if necessary expand to other identified areas to keep our people safe.

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