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Gunmen kill 17 worshippers, injure three others in Niger

By News Desk

No fewer than 17 worshippers were reported to have been killed and over three others sustaining varying degrees of injuries when a group of armed men attacked two villages in Niger State.

As gathered, 16 of the victims were killed during an attack on a mosque in MazaKuka and another one person in Kaboji village in Mashegu Local Government Area (LGA).

Aside from these, about 18 villagers were said to have been abducted by the gunmen after the attack that crippled activities in both towns in the state

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Matane,, who confirmed the attack on Monday during an interview with newsmen, explained that the assailants stormed MazaKuka in large numbers with dangerous weapons and went on a rampage, shooting sporadically.

According to the SSG, the victims in MazaKuka were killed very early on Monday morning while performing Subhi prayers inside the mosque.

Although MazaKuka and Kulhu villages are in Niger, they share borders with Kainji Lake Forest where bandits are said to have been taking advantage of the porous nature of the forest to attack innocent people at will and take cover.

Matane disclosed that the state government has since deployed a team of military personnel to the area to flush out bandits hiding in the forest.

In his reaction, a former member of the Niger State House of Assembly who represented Mashegu constituency, Abdulkarim MazaKuka, called for a concerted effort to defeat banditry in the state and the country at large.

Chairman of Mashegu LGA, Alhassan MazaKuka, on his part, described the attack as devastating and that one of those who were fatally injured has been referred to the IBB Specialist Hospital for medical attention.

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