The Nigerian Army has confirmed that “a number of personnel paid the supreme price” during a “fierce firefight” between troops and bandits in Shiroro area of Niger State.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations disclosed this in a statement Thursday. He however did not reveal the casualty figure.
The firefight occurred, Nwachukwu said, as troops responded to a distress call following bandit attack on people on a mining site.
The statement further revealed that “the troops ran into an ambush staged by the criminal elements”.
The Army Spokesman said, “On Wednesday 29 June 2022, troops of the Nigerian Army (NA) deployed in Shiroro general area responded to a distress call of bandits attack on people operating a mining site. Enroute the location, the troops ran into an ambush staged by the criminal elements. Sadly, a number of personnel paid the supreme price in fierce firefight that ensued.
“Subsequently, the location has been reinforced and troops are on the trail of the criminals with some already neutralized. The GOC 1 Division has moved to the location to take charge of the follow on operations.
“The NA notes that some clips of the incident have surfaced online and wish to encourage well meaning Nigerians to exercise some restraint in posting images of such occurrence, mindful that our brothers and sisters who may have lost their breadwinners deserve to be properly notified and not to get such information via the media. We mention this, mindful of the inalienable rights of citizens to use the social media which is respected.
The statement further said, “It is also necessary to clarify that activities of the criminals (were) not on any critical national asset or infrastructure.
“Furthermore, the NA calls on all Nigerians to continue to support the efforts of their military personnel who continue to confront the enemies of our dear nation.”
Newsdiaryonline reports that earlier on Wednesday, Emmanuel Umar, Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs confirmed terrorist attack on a mining site in shiroro area.
Umar said, “Niger State Government wishes to confirm that on 29/6/2022 at about 1600hrs, based on a distress call received that armed bandits/terrorists invaded a mining site located at Ajata Aboki village via Gurmana Ward of Shiroro LGA and a joint security team were mobilized to the scene in response to the distress call.
“Consequently, the joint security team engaged the terrorists and there were yet to be determined number of casualties from both sides.
4 Chinese national, others abducted
The Commissioner further said, “However, 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 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.
“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.
“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, hence, security personnel are enjoined not to be discouraged in discharging their sacred duties of protecting citizens against all forms of threats as government will continue to be steadfast in providing them with the needed support in all ramifications.
“His Excellency, Abubakar Sani Bello, the Governor of Niger State, has therefore directed that the security agencies should go all out to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped victims and make sure that none of the terrorists escape.”