Atleast two soldiers have been confirmed to have died and scores of others sustained varying degrees of injuries when gunmen attacked their patrol team in Kagara, Niger State.
As gathered, the injured military officers were currently receiving treatment at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Specialist Hospital, Minna, the state capital.
Confirming the casualties figure, Niger state governor, Sani Bello, said that the injured soldiers were responding to treatment and would be on their feet in no distant time.
Bello, who confirmed the number during a visit to the hospital yesterday, expressed sadness over the situation disclosed that some of the injured soldiers were taken to Kaduna for medical attention.
While noting that the bandits also suffered heavy casualties, but the number could not be ascertained, the governor maintained that the bandits have an alliance with terrorists considering their increasing number and the way they plan and carry out their attacks.
He said the situation calls for a review adding that aside from the kinetic efforts being made, a support system will be evolved for those deprived of their livelihood through banditry or cattle rustling.
Bello, however, enjoined the citizens to be security-conscious and be mindful of their environment as well as report any suspicious activities around them pointing out that the war is for all and not only the security agencies as it is threatening the life of everyone.
He also warned residents of some rural communities who for fear of attacks give bandits shelter to desist from the act, saying I can assure you that we are coming for you all.
“Very soon we will tag those communities as same elements as bandits. If you are harbouring any bandits and you know, you are one even if you don’t carry a gun because you are risking the lives of our security agents.
“We have lost quite a few of them since it started and we don’t intend to lose more. What we are calling for is a safe environment and for everyone to support the ongoing operation by the security agents”, he said.