Atleast 12 persons were reported to have been killed when residents of Illella Amarawa community in Illela Local Government clashed with bandits in Sokoto State.
As gathered, residents attacked the bandits after news filtered in that the gunmen, who stormed the community at about 2 am, have kidnapped a popular businessman in the community, Rabi’u Amarawa, and were already taking him to their hideout.
Following the attacks, it was learnt that community members alerted local vigilantes, who mobilised, and gave the bandits a chase in a bid to rescue the abductee.
During the face-off, the bandits, equipped with better weapons, opened fire at the vigilantes and members of the community, killing 12 people.
The Nigerian Police, Sokoto Command spokesman, Sanusi Abubakar, who confirmed the development to newsmen on Monday, said the casualties would have been mild if the residents had not resulted to self-help.
Abubakar added that the orientation given earlier to residents was that they alert the law enforcement agency after noticing strange occurrences in their communities.
According to him, but rather than call the Nigerian Police, the residents resulted in self-defense and that led to the heavy casualties recorded during the clashes.
He explained that the police authorities have commenced investigations and also deployed five units, each comprising 63 well-armed policemen to areas prone to banditry in the state.