Dozens of people have been killed, with many houses burnt in fresh attacks at Galadima-Kogo and Galkogo Communities of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
Armed men were said to have launched the attacks after overpowering security operatives.
Residents of the neibouring Kuchi, Sabon kabula, Kafana, Dangunu, Zazzaga and Chibani communities in Munya Local Government Area of the State, fled their homes as attackers were said to have been sighted on Sunday morning.
The Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, refused to comment on the development.
But the State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Internal Security, Emmanuel Umar confirmed the attack to our correspondent on telephone.
He said “One of our Forward Operating Bases manned by our security was overran during the attack. But we are already restrategising to take the fight back to them. Already, there have been ongoing security operations in the area, both air and ground. We doing our best.”
The Chairman, Shiroro Local Government Area, Suleiman Dauda Chukuba, also told our correspondent that security men were overpowered by the bandits.
According to him “this is a tragedy that has just occurred on Saturday and I cannot really ascertain the number of casualties for now because the place stands as a no-go area as I am talking to you now. The only dead bodies that we have recovered were 11 but that is not the exact number of casualties. A lot of people that were affected. Those that were wounded were nine in number and they are in the hospital as I am talking to you.”
About the displaced people, the Chairman said “As the situation is now, we have not done much about the displaced people. Our concern now is how to make sure we get back the communities that have been taken over by the attackers.”
He dismissed the rumour making rounds that the security operatives were withdrawn before the attacks.
“It’s not withdrawal of security operatives per say. But the attackers were more in number and well armed with sophisticated weapons. So, when they launched the attack, they overpowered our security men because they came in hundreds with sophisticated weapons,” he said.
The Links News gathered from residents of the affected communities that the attackers, in their numbers who rode on motorbikes operated for hours unchallenged, moving from house to house.
Salis Mohammed Sabo, the Spokesperson, Coalition of Shiroro Associations, said “I personally counted 16 dead bodies in Galkogo this morning (Sunday) and we are still searching. The vigilantes have taken the dead bodies of their members since yesterday”
He said the attackers at Galkago community of Shiroro Local Government numbering over three hundred invaded the community Saturday evening where many were injured, houses and other structures also set ablaze.
“Our people are still on the run, scampering for safety. The security (Special Hunters) have deserted the community. Another information reaching us this morning (On Sunday morning) is that the bandits are being sighted moving towards the same community again.”