February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Bandits Storm Niger, Kill One, Kidnap Nine

Garam, a border town between Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was again attacked by bandits on Tuesday night.

It was gathered that the Hoodlums killed one person and abducted nine others.

Tuesday’s attack was the fourth in a series of raids carried out by bandits in the community within a month.

Multiple sources disclosed that on Monday afternoon, bandits in their numbers invaded the town on more than 40 motorcycles, asking the residents the road to Jere, a community along Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

An eyewitness said the bandits, who wore military camouflage and brandished AK 47, swords and arrows, spent several minutes in the community.

Several residents took to their heels in fear, according to the sources.

Another eyewitness said she saw people running when the bandits came with their bikes.

“I saw people running when the bandits arrived. I also peeped where I was hiding and I saw some of them using scarves to cover their faces, while some used masks. Some of them wore combat trousers.”

It was further gathered that about an hour after the bandits left, soldiers of 102 Battalion came and later left.

However, on Tuesday night, the bandits moved from house to house to kidnap people.

Another eyewitness said: “The bandits started attacking around 10:30 pm. They started burgling shops, especially the shops where those Hausa boys were sleeping. They later entered a house close to ours, forced the gate open, broke the windows and removed the burglary, but none of the occupants slept at home.

“Since the last attack on January 2, most people have stopped sleeping at home. They come in the morning, and leave at night. But after two weeks of relative peace, some people decided to return the same day the bandits strike again.”

It was gathered that the bandits, who were said to be speaking Fulfulde, were shooting sporadically during the operation.

Another resident said, “In the morning, my neighbours who are Fulani interpreted what the bandits said in Fulfulde to me when they came at night. According to them, the bandits said, “we must not allow these animals (kidnapped victims) to escape”.

“One Nupe woman, whose husband is a driver, was kidnapped alongside her two children. But because the woman has chronic ulcer and she had been sick for some time now, she was later abandoned by the bandits on the way. They tied the woman and the two children to the tree. It was herders that saw them in the bush that set them free and also alerted the soldiers who brought them back.”

Another resident who pleaded anonymity said while the bandits were unleashing terror, the soldiers of 102 Battalion, whose duty was to secure the area, despite receiving the distress call as early as 11:00 pm, arrived at 1:45 am.

“They only flashed light and went back without making nay attempt to engage the bandits,” he said.

“The soldiers arrived at 1:45 am, drove around and went back. They came back at 3:45 am and left again when the bandits had successfully kidnapped and left. The residents were just left to face the horror with no help from the military.”

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