Army, bandits’ encounter leaves 24 dead in Katsina

• Gunmen Kill Five In Plateau State

No fewer than 24 persons, including 21 suspected armed bandits and three military personnel, lost their lives during a shootout between troops and bandits in Katsina State.

The incident occurred when troops of Operation Sahel Sanity responded to bandits’ attack at Unguwar Doka village in Faskari Council late on Thursday.

A statement by the acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said three kidnapped victims, including an eight-months-old baby, were rescued.

In Plateau State, no fewer than five persons were shot dead by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen in K-Vom community of Vwang District in Jos South Council.

It was gathered that the gunmen, who stormed the sleepy and peaceful community about 10:30pm on Thursday, shot sporadically on the locals at a relaxation spot after a hectic day’s work.

Four persons were shot dead at the spot, while a student of the School of Animal Health Production in Vom was shot dead close to his shop.

An eyewitness, who craved anonymity, said the gunmen escaped through some hills around the community, adding: “After I heard the gunshots and people were crying for help, I was inside my house and I heard the footsteps of the people climbing the hills to go and I didn’t know that they were the perpetrators.”

Onyeuko said recued victims of the Kaduna shootout were abducted and detained for 23 days in the den of the bandits, saying the encounter saw 21 bandits shot and killed by the troops, while three military personnel lost their lives and another two were receiving treatment for injury sustained.

He said one of the military victims was an officer, while one AK-47 rifle, one magazine and three motorcycles were recovered from the fleeing bandits.

Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, who confirmed the killing at the scene, described it as a setback to peace effort all stakeholders, the Police, military and state government have been trying to sustain in the state.

Member representing Jos South State Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Dalyop Fom, described the incident as ugly and barbaric and called on the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.

District Head of Vwang, Da Gyang Balak, while condemning the killings, described it as unfortunate and barbaric.He called on the community to be calm and remain law abiding to constituted authorities and pursue their lawful businesses.

It was gathered that youths in the community staged a peaceful protest to demand more security personnel be post to protect lives and property.