Vigilantes kill 9 bandits, arrest 4 in Niger

 Vigilantes have reportedly killed nine  armed bandits in Lapai local government area of Niger state after a shoot out.

Blueprint learnt that the incident occurred on Sunday afternoon in Gulu district of the local government while the bandits were waiting to collect ransom and food from relations of victims they abducted earlier.

The Vigilantes were said to have been alerted by the relatives who the bandits have asked to deliver food items, money and recharge cards to specified area of the forest.

It was also learnt that the vigilantes mobilized  engaged the bandits in gun battle  in locations within Fapo and Ebbo communities during which some of the criminals were killed and others escaped.

Witness account said, “The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when two persons going to pay ransom coincidentally met in a vicinity in the bush while communicating with the bandits on the description and direction to follow to deliver the money”.

According to the witness whose name was not made public, “It was when the people who went to pay ransom suddenly saw the vigilantes after they were instructed by bandits to go back and buy them rice, breads, semo-vita and recharge cards that they informed the vigilantes on the matter”.

It was learnt that the gun battle lasted over two hours  and that the bandits killed the abducted victims discovered to be tied to trees  while four wounded bandits were arrested.

A resident of Gulu who spoke  on telephone said that earlier on Saturday night a woman had appeared from the forest  into the town naked after escaping from the kidnappers due to rainfall.

The resident who did not want her name mentioned stated that the said woman had notified the vigilantes that she left three other women and four men although the men were tied to trees by the bandits but she managed to escaped when it started raining heavily.

 The escaped woman  was taken to the Gulu district head palace where she narrated her ordeal as a result of which    vigilantes mobilize  on search and rescue mission. According to reports, it was while the vigilantes were combing the forest that they came in contact with the ransom bearers who gave out the direction of the bandits.

Efforts to contact the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Wasiu Abiodun for confirmation were not successful.

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