Police arrest bandits’ informant in Niger
Unknown gunmen have shot two persons dead after raiding more than six communities in Batsari Council of Katsina State at the weekend.
The attacks, which mostly occurred in the night, reportedly led to the abduction of over 50 persons, including women and children, in Daurawa, Kasai, Biya-ka-Kwana, Bakon Zabo, Tudun Modi, Watangadiya, and other communities.
In Daurawa, the gunmen killed two people and wounded two others, while in Kasai, more than 30 persons were reportedly abducted on Saturday night, and household valuables looted.
Ten women were said to have been kidnapped in Biya-ka-Kwana village, while four others that include a newly-wed, were abducted at Bakon Zabo village. Five people were also kidnapped at Watangadiya, and three others in Tudun Modi villages.
Last week, gunmen had abducted over 20 persons at Salihawar Dan-Alhaji and Tashar Kadanya communities in the council area.
It is believed that the numbers of those abducted may be higher, as some of the communities were still carrying out head-count by Sunday night.
A local told The Guardian that the attacks became more frequent after security operatives were withdrawn from the communities.
“Some of the communities used to have security presence; but they seem to have been withdrawn, which may be why there are frequent reports of attacks,” the source said.
Some residents claimed that bandits collect some form of tax from farmers, to allow them to carry out their activities.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, was yet to respond to inquiries made on the issue at the time of this report.
MEANWHILE, Niger State Police Command has arrested Tunga Iliya, a village head that was reportedly hired by bandits as an informant.
Statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Wasiu Abiodun, disclosed that during the clearance of suspected bandits’ hideouts in Tunga Iliya forest in Mashegu Council, a police team engaged the bandits in a gun duel and arrested 11, while five others were fatally wounded.
According to the statement, other suspects arrested include one Summaya Bello, a female who reportedly harbours the bandits.
The statement further explained that the clearance operation was a continuous exercise launched by the police to flush out bandits from their hideouts in parts of the state.
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