Niger villagers claim sighting stranded bandits hours after murder of soldiers

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From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Communities in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State on Monday reported sighting stranded bandits roving in apparent search for food.

This was barely 24 hours after some four soldiers were killed in an ambush.

The bandits according to sources were about 30, all armed.

The source said, “the bandits are armed with sophisticated guns. We are convinced that these strange people were earlier involved in the attack on Sunday during which some soldiers were killed. These attackers are currently stranded in communities in the area”

The State Radio station has also reported the movement of “several men” on motorcycles in some villages in the LGA.

The Chairman of Munya local government, Mohammed Garba Daza has confirmed the presence of the bandits in the LGA.

Speaking through his Vice Chairman, Luka Garba, the Chairman appealed to the State Government to beef up security in the area.

He said, “the villagers have since abandoned their homes for the bandits.”

The affected communities have been given as Sohon kabula, luwi, Rufogo, Mudungo, Beni and Toko.

It was learnt that the bandits have currently ran out of fuel in their motorcycles and food, and have therefore shared themselves into three groups with some in new Kabula and Mangoro communities.

“They are all strangers because they don’t know where to go and how to get out of the communities, that is why they want the people to show them where to follow. They refused to follow all the routes that they showed them. So right now I can tell you that they are stranded. If the security agents can move in now they will capture them”, our source disclosed.

Responding, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Niger State police command, DSP Mohammed Abubakar said that police have been deployed to “flush out” the “criminal elements.”

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