Nigeria

Zamfara: Many security operatives feared dead in bandit attack

Gunmen in the early hours of Friday stormed Birshin Fulani, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, and kidnapped a nursing mother of three children, Mrs Rukayyat Odedoyin.

At least 20 security operatives have been reportedly killed in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State by a group led by notorious bandit leader, Turji.

It was gathered that the security operatives, who were mostly personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and local vigilantes, were sent to a village that bandits have been ravaging for a while.

The bandits reportedly ambushed the security operatives, killed 20 of them and set their patrol vehicle on fire.

Efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Aminu Maru, to confirm the incident proved abortive.

However, the Zamfara State Police Command spokesperson, SP Muhammed Shehu, said the command is preparing to issue a press statement concerning the incident.

The attack is one of the latest by bandits in the North-West who have gained national notoriety for several violent acts, including the mass kidnapping of school children.

Several individuals, groups and institutions, including the National Assembly have urged the Federal Government to designate the bandits as terrorists.

On Friday, the Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, said the Federal Government is in the process of reviewing and following the required procedures to designate the criminal gangs as terrorists.

It is believed that designating the bandits as terrorists will allow the military to unleash its full force on the criminals without triggering international human rights rebukes.

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