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Black Thursday in Niger as 43 vigilante men ambushed, killed

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In what could be described as a reprisal attack on local vigilante group in Kotonkoro community in Mariga Local government, some heavily armed men believed to be cattle rustlers Thursday ambushed and killed a total of 43 vigilante group members and one soldier while two soldiers suffered various degree of injuries.

The armed men also set two vehicles belonging to the military ablaze while many houses and properties worth million of naira were destroyed by the rampaging armed cattle rustlers.

CAPITAL POST reliably gathered that the joint teams of vigilante group along with the volunteer vigilante (Yan sa Kai), received a distress call on the strange movement of some suspected rustlers in the community with rustled animals when they mobilized to the forest to recover the rustled cattles.

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It was gathered that the vigilante group succeeded in the recovery of the rustled cattles from the armed men.

According to the commander of the group in Mariga Local government area, Alhaji Hashimu Abdullahi, his men while on their way from the forest, some of armed men ambushed his men and opened fire on them killing 43 of them on the spot.

He explained that his men and the volunteer vigilante group in another gun battle also killed five of the rustlers while the rustlers quickly evacuated the bodies of their members.

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He disclosed that his men while on their way to evacuate the bodies of their members in the forest, the armed men then opened fire on them killing five of them.

The commander told CAPITAL POST that the rampaging armed cattle rustlers invaded the army barrack in the area and killed a soldier injured one and took away a Hilux van belonging to the army.

At this point, the Commander stated that the soldiers and the vigilante group mobilized themselves back to the forest and recovered the Hilux from the forest.

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However, CAPITAL POST reliably gathered that the armed men were said to have been chased from the neighboring Kebbi and Zamfara states with the rustled cattles and were intercepted in Mariga Local government area in Niger State with the rustled animals.

When contacted for his comment, the police public Relations officer (PPRO), in the state police command, Wasiu Abiodun, DSP said he will get back to our correspondent saying that he is yet to get details report on the incident.

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