Bandits kill dozen in Niger after withdrawal of troops

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GOVERNOR Sani Bello says bandits killed 11 security agents and several villagers in separate attacks between Friday and Saturday in Shiroro and Paikoro local government areas of the state.

Residents of the areas said at least 32 persons were killed overall across the affected communities.

Governor Abubakar Bello made this known through a statement issued by his media aide, Mary Noel-Berje.

The governor said “the terrorists, numbering over 100 invaded the community in broad daylight, killing about 11 Joint Security Taskforce members, several villagers and leaving many injured.

He said scores of the gunmen were also said to have been neutralised.

Bello said the attacks on Galadiman Kogo and other villages in Shiroro council area could have been averted if the locals had alerted the security forces on time.

Troops were said to have withrawn from parts of the state and  the governor said it was “was tactical, in order to restrategise.”

Governor Bello said the attack on Galadiman Kogo would have been unsuccessful if villagers from Galape and Kudodo in Allawa had alerted the security agencies when they noticed the movements of the terrorists towards the town.

He urged villagers in the affected communities to endeavour to provide credible information to the Joint Security Taskforce stationed in the area, adding that “security agencies cannot perform effectively and efficiently without getting appropriate support and intelligence from the people.”

The governor called for calm and urged the fleeing communities in Galadiman Kogo and Kuchi in Shiroro and Munya local government areas to await a swift and immediate response from the Joint Security Taskforce, stressing that their earlier withdrawal was tactical in order to re-strategise.

“The state government has already secured the order and clearance of President Buhari to carry out intensive military operations in the affected axis, assuring that ground and airstrikes would continue to comb the areas, so as to flush out those miscreants.

“We have really run out of patience with the terrorists and we’ll use every means possible to bring an end to this incessant bloody attacks on innocent people. We’ll do everything to stop the killings and return normalcy to the affected communities.

“The governor prayed for the reposed souls of the Joint Security Taskforce members and villagers who lost their lives during the attack on Galadiman Kogo and directed the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to urgently provide succour to the injured and displaced,” the statement said.

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