From Yahaya Adamu Minna
Soldiers from the Artillery Brigade in Kontagora, have killed no fewer than fifteen armed bandits at Anguwan Mallam in Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger State in a firefight.
Unfortunately, a military officer died in the gun battle that was said to have had 70 bandits.
A source close in the community said the firefight which occured at about 4:00pm when the military men on patrol of the area sighted the bandits in their large number some few kilometers from Kontagora town.
The motorbike riding bandits with three on each bike were taken unawares by the soldiers, who initiated the face-off.
Unable to match the soldiers numbering about 20, the bandits took to their heels into the nearby forest.
The source said the Angwar Mallam community was spared by the chance presence of the soldiers, as it appeared the community was the destination of the bandits. .
“The presence of the military was what saved our community from the bandits. They came in their number on motorcycles and the people became scared because we don’t have what it takes to face them.
But many were killed, we discovered dead bodies even today in the morning in the bush. We found their sleeping kits and some other valuable materials belonging to them”, our source said.
Meanwhile, in related development, no fewer than 15 people who were recently kidnapped by bandits from Tegina town in Rafi LGA on Saturday escaped from their abductors in a miraculous way.
The 15 victims, all males were among the adults abducted along with the 156 pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamic school three weeks ago.
It was gathered that after their abduction alongside the children three weeks ago, the adults were separated from the children and taken into Zamfara state forests while the children were kept in another location.
It was reliably learnt that miracle happened on Friday night when the 15 victims managed to open the door of the house in which they were kept under lock and key after the bandits stationed to guard them were deeply asleep after a heavy alcohol consumption session
The escapees split in different directions so that they will not create any suspicion from other bandits in the forest.
One of the escapees who first arrived Tegina broke the news which made the Niger state government to immediately swing into action to assist the remaining victims.
The escapee, it was gathered, was admitted at a medical facility in the town for treatment.
Checks also showed that three others a Councillor, a driver and one other person who escaped arrived Tegina this Sunday morning.
It was gathered that another of the escapees was rescued and brought to Minna where he was also admitted at a medical facility for treatment.
A top government official told our correspondent that the escapee was treated, given food and new dress and will very soon be reunited with his family in Kuta, Shiroro LGA.
Security agents, it was learnt, have already been dispatched to the Tegina – Birnin- Gwari road to await the arrival of the remaining 10 escapees.
“Once we get them we will bring them to Minna for proper attention” the source said.