Gunmen suspected to be bandits have struck Chaza community in the Suleja Local Government Area of Niger State, abducting no fewer than 10 persons.
SaharaReporters learnt that the bandits announced their presence on Sunday with heavy gunshots and operated from around 12am to 2am, moving from Angwan Latan to Chaza areas with no visible security operatives.
It was gathered that the attackers went from house to house and abducted a woman, a trader who sells foodstuffs, along with her wares among those kidnapped.
A source in the community said some of the families had been contacted for ransoms and negotiations were ongoing.
He said, “There were heavy gunshots for about two hours. The heavily armed men were up to 20 in number and they stormed Angwan Latan in Chaza. They have been coming frequently in this community in recent times, always abducting men and women, teenage girls and boys for ransom.
“Sunday’s attack was one of the worst with 10 persons abducted. They moved from house to house and packed residents. Some of the families have been contacted and negotiation is going on.”
Niger State has been synonymous with bandits’ attacks and abductions since February with the 47 victims in the Kagara school incident and the Niger State Transport Authority workers.
One of the most vulnerable areas has been Shiroro where in February, bandits attacked the Erana community, abducting at least 12 women and children in an overnight raid.
A security report last month stated that due to increased banditry, Niger State between January 2020 and February 2021 lost 301 persons to bandits and terrorists’ attacks.
The SB Morgen Intelligence revealed that the people were killed in 73 various violent incidents in the state.
“On February 2, terrorists sacked 10 villages in Gurmana, Kurebe and Kwaki in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state, killing 25 people and abducting 40. The assailants attacked the said villages because they refused to attend a meeting where negotiations were opened between the terrorists and community leaders on the amount to be paid to allow farmers in the area harvest crops from their farms without attacks.
“Shiroro, which houses one of Nigeria’s most important electric dams has seen the worst attacks, as well as Bosso, Mariga, Mashegu and Rafi LGAs. Kagara, where the abduction took place, is very close to the volatile Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the North-West, a region that has seen no fewer than 8,000 deaths from violent incidents between 2011 and 2020, displacing nearly 300,000,” the report had partly read.