Bandits have killed 13 soldiers and five policemen during a gun battle in Kanya village, Danko-Wasagu district in Zuru emirate, Kebbi State.
The battle erupted in the village on Tuesday, March 8, days after about 63 members of the vigilante otherwise refer to as Yan-Sa-Kai, were massacred in Zuru emirate.
According to Punch report, hundreds of gunmen invaded Kanya, engaging a combined military and police detachment in a three-hour gunfight.
“The death toll stands at 19. They include 13 soldiers, five policemen and one vigilante,” a security personnel, who did not want to be identified,” security source and residents told AFP.
He said eight other security personnel, including four soldiers, were hospitalised with wounds.
“It was an intense fight that lasted more than three hours. The terrorists had the upper hand because of their sheer number.”
Local resident Musa Arzika, who gave the same toll, said the attackers came on “around 200 motorcycles riding three on each” and laid siege on the village.
“The bodies of 13 soldiers, five policemen and one vigilante killed in the fight were taken to Zuru this morning. We believe they were the same bandits who killed the vigilantes that attacked our village,” he said.
Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, confirmed the attack on Wednesday when he received the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Birnin Kebbi, Daily Trust reported.
Although the governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Umar Babale Yauri, did not give the number of the soldiers killed, he added that his government is making a frantic effort in tackling the insecurity bedevilling the southern part of the state.
“In fact, only last three days, we lost about 65 vigilantes members. And even yesterday, we lost some military officers engaging with them,”
“The issue of banditry was formally a casual thing in Kebbi but in view of what is currently happening in Zamfara, the bandits are facing a serious challenge from the military, therefore, forced to come into Kebbi especially, the southern part of Kebbi.”
In his response, the Minister said he was in the state on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, to condole with the government and people of Kebbi State over the recent killing of members of vigilante in the state.
Onyeama said that the President urged the state to stand firm on dealing with the challenges of the banditry.
“There will be no retreat and we will not be bound with the challenges of banditry and terrorists in the northern states,”