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Bandits kill 9, kidnap dozens in fresh Niger Attack

Nine people, including 6 vigilantes have been killed by bandits in Kuchi and adjoining communities in Munya LGA of Niger State.

Dozens of farmers as well as women and children were also reported to have been kidnapped by the attackers on Friday.

Sources said bandits arrived in the community around 5pm with sophisticated weapons and held residents hostage, shooting sporadically before taking away dozens.

Residents told our correspondent that, Kuchi the home town of the current Munya LG Council Chairman, Aminu Najume, and other communities had come under severe attacks several times in the past before relative peace returned.

Sources, including some local government officials told Daily Trust that bandits, numbering about 300 operated for about six hours unchallenged forcing many people to flee in the night.

When contacted via telephone, the Chairman, Munya LGA, Aminu Najume Kuchi, confirmed the incident but did not give number of people killed or kidnapped.

He said the government was working in collaboration with security operatives to ensure safe return of the kidnapped victims.

“We are on it to ensure that those kidnapped return safely. And in Sha Allah between today and tomorrow (Sunday), they shall be rescued,” he said.

Another local government official who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “It is a bad story for us in Munya LGA. Bandits invaded the home town of Munya LG Council Chairman and kidnapped about 100 people. Seven other villages have been sacked by bandits, including Wuloto, Kafana, Sabon-Dan Gunu, Gbodo. There were casualties but we don’t have the actual figures now.”

He added, “These people operated for about six hours, kidnapping people without any challenge from security Operatives. Let’s be sincere with ourselves. They started their operations before rain started and they were operating even when it was raining.”

The Niger State Commissioner for Homeland Security, Brigadier General Bello Abdullahi Mohammed, could not be reached on the telephone. He was also yet to respond to a text message sent to his phone.