• One Soldier killed, another injured
The Nigerian Army on Wednesday recorded a major success in the war against armed Bandits in Niger state when soldiers invaded their hideout in Allawa forest in Shiroro local government area of the state, killing over 20 of them while several others flee with bullets injuries.
The soldiers rescued over 30 kidnapped victims who were being held by the gunmen in their abode after over five hours of heavy gun battle.
Majority of the victims are said to be women and children, and had spent well over three months with their abductors in the bush before they were rescued on Thursday.
However one soldier was killed while another one sustained gun injury and is currently responding to treatment at a government health facility in the state.
According to source close to Allawa Community, the bandits had invaded the community three weeks ago and abducted more victims which include women and children and had placed N50million ransom for their release.
It was gathered that luck ran out of the Bandits when one of the kidnapped victims was sent to go and purchase some food items including Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly refers to as Petrol from Allawa town with a strict warning that all the remaining victims, including his wife and children would be killed if he fails to return back.
Our source further disclosed that the quantity of the PMS and the food item being purchased by the “Bandits messenger” attracted the attention of the soldiers who had been stationed in Allawa town due to constant invasion by the bandits.
“After he was interrogated by the soldiers, he confessed that he was sent by the Bandits to come and purchase those items, with a warning that if he fails to return back, all the kidnapped victims would be killed.
“It was at that point that he led the soldiers to the Bandits hideout where they (soldiers) engaged the gunmen in fierce gun battle. Many of the Bandits were killed and their bodies are littered all over the bush. Two soldiers were shot but one of them died”, he added.
All the rescued victims have reunited with their families while the body of the soldiers killed has been brought to Minna even as the soldiers continue in their search for the fleeing Bandits.
When contacted, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Umar said he was aware of the rescue operation by the soldiers stationed at Allawa but was yet to get the details.
He however promised to get back to our correspondent but never did before filing this report