Troops over the weekend foiled a coordinated attack by bandits on Pandogari town in Rafi local government area of Niger state.
Blueprint learnt that not less than 100 heavily armed men riding on motorcycles stormed the town from Zamfara state with the intention of killing and kidnapping members of the community, in addition to rustling their cattle.
Witness accounts said the bandits first launched attack on the military base in Pandogari town but met stiff opposition from soldiers who engaged them in fierce battle.
It was learnt that the gunmen and the soldiers were engaged in the battle for “several hours” making the soldiers to seek for reinforcement from Kagara and Birnin Gwari towns.
A source said not less than 20 trucks of soldiers from Kagara and another 10 from Birnin Gwari reinforced the team at Pandogari, leading to the armed gunmen being overwhelmed.
It was gathered that the action of the soldiers stopped the gunmen from gaining access into Pandogari town where they would have wrecked havoc.
A top local vigilante official who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity described the battle as “very serious” and applauded the gallantry of the men of the armed forces.
The vigilante official stated that the men of the armed forces adopted the use of rocket propelled grenades and other sophisticated weapons which devastated the bandits and made them to run back into the forest.
It could not however be confirmed if there was any casualty on either side because the fierce battle lasted till late in the night.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, confirmed the incident in Minna.
He simply said: “What the security men did was to repel the attack.”