It was another day of bloodshed in Niger State Wednesday night as gunmen invaded a mining site in Ajata Aboki in the Erena district of Shiroro Local Government Area, killing three soldiers, seven mobile policemen and six civilians working at the site.
The gunmen who invaded the mining site in their large number succeeded in abducting an unspecified number of Chinese nationals which the locals said were the target of the gunmen.
The mining site, according to a reliable source close to the community, is owned by a powerful figure in the state, and the area has remained a no-go area for both the people of the community and any visitor and has remained heavily guarded by both soldiers and mobile policemen.
The mining site, which the chairman of the local government, Mallam Suleiman Chukuba, is said to be fully aware of its existence, has survived every attack by gunmen who have continued to raid communities in the area with reckless abandoned in the last five years but have avoided it.
The state government while confirming the attacks by the gunmen did not give a number of casualties but said a joint security team were mobilized to the scene in response to the distress call.
A statement by the State Commissioner for Internal Security, Mr Emmanuel Umar, pointed out that “there was yet to be a determined number of casualties from both sides.
“However, a yet-to-be ascertained number of workers in the mining site including two Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted.
According to the Commissioner “Security forces mobilized reinforcement for the manhunt of the remaining terrorists as some of them were neutralized and rescue of the injured victims including security personnel that sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a government medical facility in the state for treatment.”
The statement further added that the “state government acknowledged all the efforts of the joint security operatives and that of the communities in the State towards taming the spate of insecurity in some parts of the state, hence, security personnel are enjoined not to be discouraged in discharging their sacred duties of protecting citizens against all forms of threats as the government will continue to be steadfast in providing them with the needed support in all ramifications.”