Barely one week after armed bandits abducted two expatriates and six others working for former Senator David Umaru, armed men suspected to be bandits have attacked Umaru’s community, Kaure, Kwaki Ward in Shiroro Local Government Area.
The bandits killed eight other villagers in the attack, which occurred in the early hours of yesterday.
Over 100 members of the community, including women and children, were said to have fled to safety.
The councilor representing the ward, Malam Jafaru Kwaki, told our correspondent on phone yesterday afternoon that the bandits stormed the community on motorcycles with three persons on each at about 7am shooting sporadically into the air.
He said: “I just received the sad development of an invasion again of a community in my area by armed men dressed in black. This is another deadly attack after two expatriates and six members of the community were abducted and are yet to regain their freedom almost 10 days now.
“As has been their manner, they stormed the community on motorcycles, shooting. From the information at my disposal, eight people have lost their lives in the attack, which lasted hours.
“We cannot ascertain the number of people injured in the attack yet because many escaped into the bushes with bullet wounds but we were able to move 15 who sustained various degrees of injuries to health centres.”
The attack in the community is the 15th in the last 10 months with an estimated 200 people so far killed while about 5,000 others, mostly women and children, have been forced to abandon their homes. The last attack was the abduction of two foreigners and six others in Erena, Shiroro local government area.
The two expatriate construction workers were said be handling the contraction work on the 52 kilometers roads from Erena town to Kaure village, a border town between Niger and Kaduna states, cutting across over 200 villages.
The counselor disclosed that the attackers rustled cows, dispossessed locals of cash and foodstuff at gunpoint.
“They burnt two vehicles, five machines and some houses in the attack,” he also disclosed.
He said many locals were missing with search parties hurriedly put together, combing bushes for them, while others were being evacuated to safe locations.
Our correspondent also gathered that the attack is coming even when locals displaced in the recent attacks across eight communities in Rafi and Shiroro local government areas are still in the internally displaced persons camps in Kuta, Kagara and Gudu communities.
The attacks, which happened three weeks ago claimed 13 lives in Kukoki, Shiroro local government area alone, while the district head of Madaka, Alhaji Zakari Yau, his wife, the village head of Kukoki and four others, including the secretary of the district council and a retired soldier were kidnapped.
Kwaki called on the state government and the military to urgently come to the aid of the district and entire Shiroro and Rafi local government areas by deploying troops to the areas which he said, have been under siege for a long time.
Although the police could not be immediately reached for comment on the attack, the senator representing the zone, Senator Sani Musa condemned the latest attack, describing it as one attack too many.
He said it high time military came to the rescue of the people, stressing: “All indications is that something urgent must be done before the people are completely wipe out. I am highly worried about the growing insecurity in the area”.
Meanwhile the Niger State Emergency Agency (NSEMA) said it had activated emergency response mechanism to deal with the situation.
The Director General of the agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, said his office is yet to receive report of casualty of the latest attack.