An unspecified number of persons including policemen have been reported killed and several others injured following an attack on a mining site at Ajata-Aboki in Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The gunmen also abducted several workers including four Chinese nationals who managed the site..
Reports said the bandits, armed with sophisticated weapons, arrived in the community around 2pm on Wednesday and headed to the mining site, shooting at anyone on sight.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Thursday, said the number of casualties were yet to be ascertained.
He said, “Niger State Government wishes to confirm that on 29/6/2022 at about 1600hrs, based on a distress call received that bandits/terrorists invaded a mining site located at Ajata Aboki village via Erena Ward of Shiroro LGA and a joint security team were mobilized to the scene in response to the distress call.”
Umar said the bandits were engaged by the joint security team, resulting in casualties from both sides.
He added, “A yet-to-be ascertained number of workers in the mining site including four Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted.
“Security forces mobilized reinforcement for the manhunt of the remaining terrorists and rescue of the injured victims including security personnel that sustained varying degrees of injury have been taken to a government medical facility in the state for treatment.
“While the Niger State Government commiserates with the heads of security agencies in the state and the families of the slain personnel, the state government assures that their sacrifices will not go in vain.”
Umar said the state government acknowledged all the effort of the joint security operatives and that of the communities in the state towards taming the spate of insecurity in some parts of the state.
A resident of the area, told newsmen that “about 11 people including seven mobile policemen attached to the mining site as security guards and six other civilian workers lost their lives in the attack.”
He said dozens, who sustained multiple gunshot injuries who were in critical conditions, had been taken to various medical facilities for treatment.
Sani Yusuf Kokki, Co-Convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, also said an unspecified number of Chinese nationals were kidnapped, describing the attack as terrific and terrible.
His words: “Kidnap for ransom has become common phenomenon in our localities. It is quite unfortunate that we have been forced to coexist with this sad reality. We are being killed, maimed, raped among other inhuman subjugations by marauding terrorists.
“These rampaging terrorists attack their victims at will, ironically and unfortunately in some cases without slightest hindrance, resistance or confrontation from the conventional security. Sadly too, defenceless, unarmed and peaceful locals have crassly been abandoned to their fate thereby compelling them to wallow in perpetual agony and misery.”