Bandits have ambushed and killed 20 vigilantes in Kotonkoro village of Mariga Local Government Area (LGA), Niger State.
Sources also said that the bandits, who attacked the community on Wednesday night, killed one soldier and injured another in a military base.
The attack is coming barely three weeks after Governor Abubakar Sani Bello visited the vigilante group and assured that government would equip them with high caliber weapons to enable them take the fight to the bandits.
Commandant of the Vigilantes in the LGA, Abu Hashimu, confirmed the killings, saying that “the slain vigilantes were returning from search operation when they were ambushed. Sixteen of them were killed on the spot while the bandits pursued four others who tried to escape and gunned them down also.”
He said the bodies of the deceased have been recovered and buried, adding that a joint security operation consisting of military and vigilantes has begun manhunt for the bandits.
It was further gathered that the combine security team has entered the Dutse Magajiya forest.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, confirmed the killings of the 20.
Matane also said the military post in the area was attacked and “we lost one soldier.”
Niger State government officials and popular Islamic scholar, Sheik Abubakar Gumi, last month met with some bandits’ Commanders in Dutsen Magajiya where peace initiative took place before the eventual release of the abducted 42 passengers on board a state government-owned bus were released.