During the attack on the mining site on Wednesday morning, three soldiers, seven policemen and six others were reportedly killed by the bandits while others sustained varying degrees of injuries according to the co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths of Niger State, Sani Abubakar Yusuf Koki.
In a statement he made available to journalists in Minna on Thursday, Koki said the mining site “owned and managed by foreign nationals has for a very long time become a place of attraction and a good target for criminals because of its juicy and lucrative disposition.
“Three soldiers, seven mobile policemen attached to the mining site probably as guards (providing security cover for the expatriates) and six other civilians were gruesomely killed through an ambush while scores of others who sustained various degrees of multiple gunshots injuries while some other victims who were in critical conditions have been taken to various medical facilities for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the state government has confirmed the attack and the abduction of the foreign nationals.
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Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Umar, in a press statement, said: “Consequently, the joint security team engaged the terrorists adding that there was yet to be a determined number of casualties from both sides.”
The statement, however, stated that a yet-to-be-ascertained number of workers in the mining site including four Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted by the hoodlums.
According to the statement, “security forces mobilized reinforcement for the manhunt of the remaining terrorists as some of them were neutralized and rescue of the injured victims including security personnel that sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a government medical facility in the state for treatment”.
It stated further that “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,” adding that the “state government acknowledged all the efforts 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.”
The commissioner however enjoined security personnel not to be discouraged in discharging their sacred duties of protecting citizens against all forms of threats, assuring that government will continue to be steadfast in providing them with the needed support in all ramifications.
He added that Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello has therefore directed the security agencies to go all out to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped victims and make sure that none of the terrorists escapes.
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