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How Bandits invaded Niger Market, killed village head, 20 others in daytime

At least, 21 people including the village head lost their lives on Thursday afternoon when bandits in their numbers reportedly invaded a market in Madaka, an agrarian community in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Residents said the attackers raided the market around 3pm when the commercial activities were in full swing and started shooting at the crowd.

Many people were said to have sustained various degrees of injury and were receiving treatment at the IBB Specialist Hospital, in Minna.

Dozens, including children, were also reportedly kidnapped while motorcycles, cars, houses, shops and goods belonging to traders were reportedly burnt down by the bandits.

Residents said the Madaka attack came a day after gunmen attacked Pangu Gari, a neighboring village, killing the district head and four other people.

Sources said after the daytime attack, bandits returned in the night and laid siege to the community, shooting sporadically.

Sources alleged that the attackers were on the mission to reclaim the cattle recently recovered from them during air operations in the area and rustle more livestock.

The District Head, Alhaji Isah Bawale confirmed the incident to our correspondent on a telephone interview.

The Secretary, Coalition of Shiroro Association, Saidu Salihu described the attack as severe and unfortunate.

He called on the federal and state governments to renew efforts in the fight against insecurity in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi LGAs.

Residents also decried absence of security operatives despite that the area had come under attack several times in the last five years.

The Niger State Commissioner for Homeland security, Brig Gen. Bello Abdullahi Mohammed (retd) confirmed the attack to our correspondent on the telephone.

Though he did not give details of the attack, he said the state government was working in collaboration with security agencies to put and end to the incessant attacks on farming communities in the state.

When contacted, the Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Wasiu Abiodun promised to revert with details.

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