Tag Archives: Kangara

Abducted Kagara students, teachers ‘set free’ – Report.

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The students and teachers abducted by bandits in Government Science College Kagara, Niger State have been released.

The abductees, include 27 students, 3 staff and 12 members of their family were kidnapped by bandits last week.

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According to NoRM‘s known Media, the abductees were dropped off at a different location from the kidnapped passengers, who were rescued earlier.

NoRM had reported that all passengers abducted at Kundu via Yakila in Rafi Local Government of the state earlier in the day regained freedom.

Story Source: Daily Post.

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#Newsworthy

Crashed Aircraft planned to survey Kagara abductees – NAF.

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The Nigerian Air Force Sunday said the Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), which crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.

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Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident.

Seven Air Force officials died in the crash.

He noted that the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the next of kins and families of the deceased.

The seven officials that died included Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain) Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist), Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialis”t), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist).

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Others were Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist), Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

“Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs. The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose,” Daramola said.

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#Newsworthy

FG will not pay anymore ransom for further Kagara student release – Lai.

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The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, has said that no ransom will be paid for the release of the abducted staff and students of Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

He said this on NoRM‘s known Media while explaining some of the government’s strategies to curb the rate of abductions in the country.

While he ruled out the option of paying ransoms, the minister assured Nigerians that “government has put in place various strategies to contain banditry, insurgency and kidnapping.”

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“Some of these measures are kinetic, some are non-kinetic,” Mr Lai Mohammed said, without disclosing any specific actions.

According to him, the same was the case for the abducted Kankara schoolboys in Katsina State and the Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State, where contrary to reports, he claimed that no ransom was paid to secure their release.

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“All these stories about ransom, are conspiracy theories,” the minister said.

He continued by saying: “I can assure you that the government is on top of the matter – but it is not a subject matter for television discussion.

“We didn’t get there overnight, that is why we can’t get out in one day”.

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According to the minister, bandits and terrorists work with the psychology of people and they deliberately attack mostly women and children because they believe that is what is going to attract global outcry.

“That is exactly what bandits do all over the world,” he said, adding that “solidarity in any form will not be tolerated by this government”.

Armed men attacked the Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State in the early hours of Wednesday, shooting sporadically, before abducting some students, staff members, and their families.

One student was also killed in the incident.

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The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.

The gunmen who were said to have worn military uniforms gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination.

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Sheikh Gumi suggest what Gov’t should do to Bandits.

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This was after the cleric visited the camp of some bandits operating in Niger State.

Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, has called on the Federal Government to give bandits willing to make peace ‘blanket amnesty’ if the current security situation must be tackled.

The Islamic scholar disclosed this on Friday while addressing journalists in Minna, Niger State capital.

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“The Federal government should give them blanket amnesty, then if somebody continues, then we will deal with them,” Sheik Gumi said while giving updates on the demands of the bandits.

This was after the cleric visited the camp of some bandits operating in Niger State.

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He explained that some of the complaints of the bandits are that they were being killed and maimed unjustly.

“The outcome (of his visit) is very positive. We have many factions and each faction is saying I have complaints and grievances – we are persecuted, we are arrested, we are lynched -,” the cleric said, quoting the bandits.

Speaking concerning his discussion during his secret visit to the bandits, Sheik Gumi said there is a positive response from the bandits who are holding the Kagara school students and their staff captive.

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He, however, did not state if the students have been released.

Gumi’s comments come a few days after gunmen gained access to Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State around 2:00am and abducted scores of students, teachers, and many others.

The school principal who escaped from the attack confirmed to NoRM’s known Media that the gunmen came in military uniform and shot sporadically into the air. He said the operation started from the staff quarters where they abducted members of staff including a couple before they gained access to the students’ hostels.

One student was killed during the attack.

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Targeted Institution
Kidnappers have in recent times targeted schools in the country. Less than three months ago, scores of students were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State. They were, however, released by their kidnappers after some days.

Niger State has in the past days seen a spike in kidnapping by gunmen. A few days back, armed men attacked a bus belonging to the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) along Minna-Zungeru Road and abducted at least 21 passengers.

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#Newsworthy

Niger Gov debunk news of Kagara students’ release.

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The continuous insecurity in the country has continued to spark outrage and criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, Friday morning said the Kagara students and teachers have not been released.

Bello said at a press briefing that the state authorities are doing their best to ensure the students are released within “the next few days or hours”.

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Bello is reacting to several media reports claiming that the abducted persons have been released.

He said he is “not considering resigning” over the kidnapping, adding that “this is the first time students are being kidnapped in this state”.

At least 27 students of Government Science College (GSC) Kagara and 14 others including teachers were abducted when armed bandits attacked their school on Wednesday morning.

The gunmen dressed in military uniforms stormed the school hauling students into a nearby forest, a government official and a security source told AFP.

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“Bandits went into GSC Kagara last night and kidnapped hundreds of students and their teachers,” said the official, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

“One of the kidnapped staff and some students managed to escape. The staff confirmed a student was shot dead during the kidnap operation,” the official said.

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Only two months ago, more than 300 students were kidnapped in Kankara, in nearby Katsina state.

On Tuesday, Niger state authorities said bandits also killed 10 people and kidnapped at least 23 others in attacks on two remote villages.

The continuous insecurity in the country has continued to spark outrage and criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

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Senators Mohammed Enagi (APC-Niger South), Sani Musa (APC-Niger East), and Aliu Sabi Aliu (APC-Niger North) on Wednesday described as unacceptable, the worsening state of insecurity in Niger State and Nigeria in general.

Senator Enagi during the plenary said the Federal Government under the leadership of Buhari is grossly incompetent.

The visibly angry lawmaker further noted that the government had been evasive on issues that ought to be given attention.

Enagi observed that it was unfortunate that the Federal Government was too incompetent to handle in such a way as to guarantee full employment for the nation’s teeming youths.

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Enagi suggested the amendment of laws that would allow governors who are chief security officers of their respective states to take charge, insisting that the government at the centre has failed woefully.

He added that citizens might need to be allowed to bear arms through the amendment of laws if the situation persists.

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Breaking: Sheikh Gumi meets Kangara students’ kidnappers.

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The Nigeria Senate’s have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the menace of insecurity bedeviling the country.

Some group of bandits in Niger State forests have listed their demands for peace deal during a reconciliation meeting with Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Gumi.

Sheikh Gumi visited Tagina forest and met with bandits group leader, Dogo Gide and his fighters on Thursday.

But the bandits didn’t allow their conversations recorded.

Gumi came under intense criticism last week after advocating for amnesty for the criminals carrying out kidnappings and banditry in the different parts of Northern Nigeria.

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In a recent interview with NoRM‘s known Media, Gumi indicted the Nigerian military in the violence crimes in the region. He said the bandits he met were willing to lay down their arms but that the military top brass were deliberately escalating the violence.

He said; “Everyone has witnessed it that we negotiated with these people and they promised to drop their weapons and stop these activities, and I even promised to meet the president about the matter. But why will the army bomb their place?”

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But the military denied his claims.

His visit to Tagina forest came after kidnappers abducted about 42 persons, including students, staff and their families Fromm the Government Science College Kagara in Niger State on Wednesday.

Multiple reports said gunmen started attacked the school around 2:00 am on Wednesday, beginning with sporadic gunshots. A students was killed during the attack.

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The State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello while reacting to the incident vowed never to negotiate with bandits.

Bello stated that Niger was experiencing infiltration of criminals from neighbouring Benin Republic, adding: “The bandits are Fulani that has no one to control them, even their parents.”

Reiterating that he would not have anything to do with hoodlums who have never kept to terms of the agreement, the governor recalled that he once reluctantly negotiated with bandits that never yielded any positive result.

“To be honest, even when the process of negotiation was being advised, I agreed to it. I have attended one meeting where the bandits were there and I cannot imagine myself as a governor and chief security officer of a state sitting down and negotiating with them,” Bello said.

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The Nigeria Senate’s have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the menace of insecurity bedeviling the country.

They insisted that the government must suspend normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control of the situation.

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Gunmen kills one, abduct 10 in Niger, hours after Kangara attack.

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The Niger State government also ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit-ravaged areas of the state.

Barely 24 hours after the abduction of 41 school students, teachers, and family members from Government Science College Kagara, gunmen have again attacked some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

A resident is said to have been killed and at least two others injured while a yet-to-be ascertained number of persons have been abducted.

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The villages attacked include Sarkin Zama, Lagbe (Bakin Kogi), Siyiko, Kokki, and other adjoining villages, all in Gurmana ward of Shiroro LGA.

Confirming the incident to NoRM‘s known Media via a telephone conversation, the Co-Convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Kokki said the attack took place on Wednesday night while the state was still grappling with the shock of the abduction of students, teachers, and others at GSSS Kagara.

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According to Mr. Kokki, the gunmen stormed the villages in large numbers heavily armed.

He said the attack. which lasted for hours, claimed at least one life with two persons injured.

One person was shot in the eye while the other was shot around the armpit.

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Those who sustained injuries have been rushed to Kuta General Hospital and are being treated.

Kagara Attack
Niger is the largest state in the country and shares a border with the Federal Capital Territory.

Bandit assaults are not unfamiliar in the region, but Wednesday’s school attack, reminiscent of similar events in Chibok, Dapchi, and Kankara, earned national attention.

The President swiftly condemned the attack and ordered security agencies to ensure the safe return of students and officials abducted by the gunmen.

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The Niger State government also ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the bandit-ravaged areas of the state.

On Thursday, the State Ministry of Education released a list containing the name of people that have been abducted.

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Buhari orders rescue as terrorists dive kangara students, others into forest.

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, halted the debate after Enagi declared that the kidnap of the students was unfortunate.

In another bout of terror, armed bandits in military uniforms, yesterday, invaded Government Science College Kagara, in Niger State and herded unconfirmed number of students and their teachers into the forest.

Failure to effect immediate release of the victims last night triggered concerns over their safety, as one of the pupils was said to have been killed during the attack.

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In the wake of the attack, governors of the 36 states last night converged on Abuja to deliberate on the matter and advise the Federal Government on way forward. The meeting chaired by the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, was slated for 8.00pm. There was no communiqué yet at press time.

A source, which confirmed the incident to The Guardian, hinted that the attack started from the hostels and ended at the staff quarters.

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The source also disclosed that a staff of the school, who was also abducted, escaped and returned to the school. The Guardian could not reach Police Public Relations Officer of the Niger State Command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, for comments at press time.

FOLLOWING the attack, President Mohammadu Buhari, yesterday, directed the military and Police hierarchy to effect immediate rescue and safe return of all the abductees.

He also ordered that a team of security chiefs be dispatched to Minna, to meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the college with a view to coordinating the rescue mission.

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“Our prayers are with families of the victims of this attack,” the President said in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, just as he condemned the attack on innocent school children.

Notwithstanding, the Senate, yesterday, asked the President to declare a state of emergency on security without further delay.

The attack, which occurred in the early hours of yesterday, put the entire Kagara town in confusion. Those living very close to the school deserted their homes for fear of the unknown, even though normal activities gradually returned in some parts of the town.

Eyewitnesses said the uniformed attackers came to the government school at about 2 a.m. in their large numbers shooting into the air.

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“They first went to students hostels, and later approached the staff quarters.”

Mallam Mohammadu Isa, an indigene of Kagara, said the bandits carried out the attack for several hours without any confrontation from security agencies.

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Isah, the witness described the attack as “sad and most unfortunate,” recalling the abduction of over 20 passengers of NSTA bus, returning from Kontagora, last Sunday. He wonered why the Federal Government had not put necessary measures in place to forestall reoccurrence.

A farmer, Mahmud Garba, stated that farmers in the area had abandoned their farms for security reasons, adding that their lives were not safe.

Hinting that prices of foodstuffs might escalate further, Garba appealed to relevant security authorities to protect life and property.

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Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Salihu Tanko enjoined the people to pray fervently for safety of their lives. He commended the state government for its efforts to restore peace in the area.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had earlier today directed immediate closure of boarding schools in the affected local council areas of Rafi, Mariga, Munya and Shiroro.

Governor Bello assured that all options will be explored to ensure the release of all students and teachers that have been abducted, including their family members, adding that the state government would not pay ransom against its own policy.

MEANWHILE, yesterday’s kidnap of students pushed senators from the state into uncontrollable anger against the Federal Government.

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Senators Mohammed Enagi (Niger South), Sani Musa (Niger East) and Aliu Sabi Aliu (Niger North) described as unacceptable, the worsening state of insecurity in Niger State and Nigeria in general.

In a brief debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Musa, the lawmakers expressed worries that the state had become unsafe for education, agriculture, and other socio-economic engagements.

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Musa, in defending his motion, informed his colleagues that the number of students in that school was more than 1000, adding that the actual number of those kidnapped was yet to be known.

Before the debate began, the Senate leadership had warned lawmakers against resorting to politics and political gimmicks during deliberations.

Consequently, all lawmakers who participated in the debate were from the APC as none from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spoke.

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Use of hostile words and languages peaked when Senator Enagi lamented that none of the resolutions that had been adopted by the Senate and sent to President Buhari was executed.

According to him, the Federal Government under the leadership of Buhari is grossly incompetent.

The visibly angry lawmaker further noted that government had been evasive on issues that ought to be given attention. Enagi observed that it was unfortunate that the Federal Government was too incompetent to handle the economy in such a way as to guarantee full employment for the nation’s teeming youths.

Enagi equally suggested amendment of laws to allow governors take charge as chief security officers of their respective states, insisting that government at the centre had failed woefully.

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He added that citizens might need to be allowed to bear arms through amendment of laws, if the situation persists. He said:
“I am sorry to say this, the government is grossly incompetent in handling security challenges in this country.

“In my own zone, few days ago, terrorists went to two local governments, but fortunately, my people were able to repel and killed 9 of them. In short, everybody here has a story to tell about security challenges in this country.”

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The lawmaker continued:

“What else are we supposed to do that we are not doing? Are we supposed to amend laws in this country to give every citizen opportunity to carry arms? What else are we supposed to do?

“Shouldn’t we amend Nigeria’s Constitution to give more powers to governors who are the chief security officers of their various states, because, our government at the centre is so incompetent in handing security issues?”

He lamented that “For over two years, our Police and other security agents have been trying and for over two years, we discuss security challenges that we are facing, yet nothing has improved.

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, halted the debate after Enagi declared that the kidnap of the students was unfortunate.

Lawan said the security agencies had challenges of personnel and funds.
He said: “Abduction of students from school happen in northern part of Nigeria.

“With incidences like this, parents would be scared to take their wards to school and the efforts of the past and present leaders at providing education would be defeated.

Also, Senator Aliu, expressed dissatisfaction that the Federal Government had been unable to ensure release of some 57 travellers kidnapped in Niger State last Sunday.

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He called for a more decisive action from security agencies to get the kidnapped persons released.

Sabi cautioned Federal Government to take extra ordinary measures to halt the spate of insecurity, which he feared could spread to the Federal Capital Territory.

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The Senate urged the President to declare a State of Emergency on insecurity in Nigeria. It also urged Buhari to consider and implement “the recommendations of the Senate ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria’s Security Challenges dated March, 17, 2020 and
Senate Resolutions therefrom, as a holistic response to the mounting security challenges across the country.”

The Senate sought a massive and combined operation to identify and destroy camps and hideouts of criminals.

BUT the ruling All progressives congress (APC) assured of safe return of the Kagara college pupils. APC, in a statement by its caretaker committee secretary, Senator John J. Akpan Udoedehe, enjoined Nigerians to ignore claims by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Buhari administration was not doing enough to ensure security of lives.

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It noted: “We cannot join issues with the PDP but rather focus on ongoing efforts to ensure quick and safe release of the abducted schoolchildren and other citizens.

Minister of Defence Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) urged Nigerians to join hands with security agents to tackle the appalling level of insecurity in the country.

The Minister, who fielded questions from reporters at the National Assembly Complex, spoke in response to the kidnap of hundreds of students in Niger State.

Expressing concern, he reminisced his youthful days when communal efforts were enough to ward off men of the underworld.

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On clamour for liberalisation firearms, he said it was unnecessary in view of the fact that the issue remains contentious in advanced nations, including the United States of America (USA).

In a related incident yesterday, a gang of fleeing Boko Haram terrorists killed seven policemen and four residents of Bayamari community in Yobe.

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The policemen were slain on Tuesday, while they were protecting the border community from attacks, after fleeing military operations in Sambisa Forest, in neighbouring Borno State.

Confirming the incident, yesterday in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, Audu Yahaya, a Civilian JTF disclosed: “The terrorists killed seven villagers and four policemen…”

He said the terrorists, after fleeing troops’ aggressive onslaught, launched an attack on Bayamari village Tuesday by 12:15pm.

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According to him, the fallen policemen paid the supreme price while attempting to protect the villagers.

“The terrorists launched their attack from their newly-established camps in the Malari Zango River Forest, Abduri and Buhari,” he said.

“Other new hideouts include Degltura, Kayidiri, Garinb Liman, Gumsari Gagala and Gorrgo in Yunusari Local Government Area.”

He said that, of recent, terrorists had been fleeing Bama, Gwoza, Damboa and the Lake Chad region, where military operations are ongoing.

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He said the insurgents fled to seek permanent refuge on the fringes of Sambisa Forest.

“Some terrorists infiltrate various communities; where they rented houses and pretend to be businessmen,” he said, noting that those that could not hide their identities are forced to establish camps and tents in the Sasawa Forest and along Kumadugu-Yobe River Basin.

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#Newsworthy