Gunmen shoot three soldiers, four vigilantes dead in Niger

Gunmen have shot three soldiers and four vigilante members dead in a shootout in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State.

The security personnel were said to be on the trail of over 60 gunmen who abducted about 100 villagers in the early hours of Friday at Tungan Bako and Kawo communities in Rafi Local Government Area.

It was gathered that seven security personnel, three soldiers and four vigilantes were shot dead by the gunmen,

Over 60 gunmen had invaded two villages in Tungan Bako and Kawo communities in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State and abducted 100 villagers.

The incident reportedly occurred on Thursday night when the gunmen, riding on over 30 motorcycles with two in each motorcycle and heavily armed, stormed the small farming communities at about 11:00pm.

It was gathered that the entire Kawo village has been sacked by the gunmen, leaving the town like a ghost village.

A source close to Allawa community said two people who wanted to escape into the bush were shot dead by the gunmen.

The source added that the operation lasted till 3:30am on Friday without any resistance from any quota.

It was gathered that a heavily pregnant woman and her two-year-old son were among the abductees.

The woman was later set free midway to the journey due to her condition, but her two-year-old son was taken long by the gunmen.

“The entire Tungan Bako and Kawo communities are now deserted, everybody has left the communities. The situation is very serious,” the source said.

However with barely 24 hours after the incident, the gunmen have demanded N70 million as ransom for the release of their victims.

“They have called us that we should bring N70million as ransom before the people can be release. That is all I can say for now”, the source added.

The Niger State Police Command, is yet to issue a statement on the latest incident which is coming barely four days after security agents recorded a major breakthrough in their operation against the gunmen, killing about 70 of them in one week and recovered over 500 rustle animals from Shiroro and Munya local government areas.

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