How gunmen killed three soldiers, one vigilante, kidnaped Chinese expatriate in Niger

By Ummi Ismaeel,

Renewed onslaught by armed bandits in some parts of Niger State has created fears in the state as no fewer than three soldiers and one vigilante member lost their lives as unidentified gunmen invaded Yakila village in Rafi Local Government Area of the state.

The attack also led to the kidnap of a Chinese expatriate who was said to be with his drivers inspecting work on the construction site in Yakila alongside his driver by the attackers who were said to have overrun the village in convoy of motorcycles.

Eyewitness account indicates that the Chinese expatriate whose names could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report was kidnapped along side with his driver by the gunmen numbering about 30.

The source who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent through telephone interview that both the soldiers and vigilante member were at Yakila to rescue the Chinese expatriate and his driver but unknown to them that the bandits laid ambush for them and they subsequently died while exchanging fire with the bandits.

Two motorcycles were seen inside the Hilux vehicle with one that was arrested whose face was tied with cloth, the source said, adding, however, that some corpses of the attackers suspected to be that of the bandits were also sighted in the bush but could not give the exact number.

The bandits, said to be heavily armed, were riding in a convoy of about 15 motorcycles with some of them carrying their members, took the Chinese and his driver and disappeared into the nearby bush.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed report had it that the body of the Chinese expatriate had been recovered and deposited at the Minna General Hospital mortuary, Tuesday afternoon while his driver is still in the bandits’ captivity.

Efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Niger State command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, to confirm the attacks proved abortive as he refused to pick his calls as at the time of filling in this report.

The Senior Special Assistant to Niger State Governor on Security Matters, Colonel M.K. Maikundi (rtd), confirmed the attacks to journalists, saying security reinforcement had been mobilized to the area.

Maikundi also expressed ongoing re-strategizing of security architecture in the state aimed at checking the bandits whose activities led to the loss of hundreds of lives, many rendered homeless and properties worth millions destroyed.

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