Nigerian troops have killed eight bandits in an exchange of gunfire in Maru Local Government area of Zamfara, Northeast Nigeria.
Soldiers of the One Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Gusau were carrying out clearance operations in the state nicknamed “Operation Idon Raini” when they encountered the bandits.
The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Major Clement Abiade said in Gusau on Thursday that the troops encountered the bandits in the bushes spanning through Dansadau, Kabaro and Sangeko villages, all in Maru local government area of the state.
“Apart from those killed, many of the other bandits escaped with various degrees of bullet wounds and may now be seeking medical help.
“We are therefore pleading with members of the public to give us any useful information that will lead to the arrest of the escapees and all other criminals that carry unprovoked attacks on innocent citizens, “he said.
The army spokesman also disclosed that five motorcycles as well as five rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition belonging to the fleeing bandits were recovered by the troops on Wednesday.
Bandits recently killed about 30 people in Kabaro and Danmani villages in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
A witness, Mr Shuaibu Kabaro, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maru that the suspected gunmen attacked the two communities and the incident was immediately reported to the security agents.
He said three of the bandits were arrested by security agents following the prompt report of the incident to the security personnel.
Shuaibu said, the gunmen in turn went and mobilized more gangs and returned in multitudes to carry out the attack which left about 30 dead and many others injured in the two communities.
The Maru Local Government Council Chairman, Alhaji Salisu Dangulbi and the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Mohammed Shehu both confirmed the killings.
According to them, many of the villagers deserted their homes for fear of further attacks which now characterized the mode of operations of the gunmen.
With the presence of security personnel now in the area, many of the villagers had returned home, the two officials confirmed in separate interviews.
The PPRO further explained that units of mobile police working with the military and other security agents were immediately mobilised to the affected areas and that peace and normalcy have been restored.
The police spokesman said that the actual number of those killed was still being ascertained and “until this is done, l cannot give you actual figure at the moment”.