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Niger: Police kills bandits, arrest suspected informant who is a traditional ruler



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By Naseer Hameed

Men of the Niger State Police command, has launched a massive onlslaught on Tungan Ilya forest in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State where 5 dare devil armed men suspected to be armed bandits were gunned down and effected the arrest of 11 of them including a traditional ruler of the community.

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The traditional ruler was said to have been harbouring the bandits in his community providing information to the bandits.

Equally, five of the bandits sustained gun wound as the police engaged them in a gun battle in the thick forest of Tungan Ilya.

The bandits have placed the entire community under serious siege in the last two months and displaced the villagers who are mainly farmers.

CAPITAL POST reliably gathered that the police received a distress call on the planned attack to be carried out on the community by the armed bandits when plain clothes operatives of the State police command launched the attack on the armed bandits which resulted in the killing of the five of them in a deadly gun duel with the police.

During the operation which lasted for two hours, the police overpowered the armed bandits with five killed on the spot, while five others escaped with serious gunshot wounds.

Some communities across Northern and Eastern Senatorial districts of Niger State have been placed under serious siege by armed bandits in the last two years displacing villagers who are mainly peasant farmers.

Already, not fewer than seven internally displaced people (IDP), camps could be located across three Local governments of Rafi, Shiroro, and Munya Local Government Areas.

As a result of the deadly attacks on rural areas in Niger State, the villagers have abandoned their farms and took refuge in various IDP camps.

In a recent attacks carried out by the armed men in Rafi local government area, four district heads were kidnapped by the bandits and were still in their captivity in the last three months.

Speaking in an interview with Journalists in his office at the weekend, the Commissioner of Police in Niger State, Mr Adamu Usman said:

“The command made a breakthrough in the total onslaught carried out on Tunga Ilya forest in the early hours of Friday, where 11 armed men suspected to be bandits were arrested and five of them killed by my officers, while five others escaped with gun wound.”

He confirmed that his men received a vital information on the preparedness of the armed men to carry out their operational activity on the community “before my men launched an offensive attack on them killing five of the bandits on the spot”.

The police boss told Journalists that the traditional ruler was said to be providing accommodation to the armed bandits and given them informations on the movement of his subjects who are in possession of wealth.

He said men of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), has commenced full scale investigation into the involvement of the traditional ruler after which he will be arraigned in court of competent jurisdiction for prosecution.

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