Terrorists attack a mining site in Niger State, scores killed

Gunmen have killed persons, injured and abducted many others including four Chinese nationals in an attack on a mining site in Ajata- Aboki, Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government, Niger State. 

The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths Of Niger State, Sani Abubakar Yusuf Kokki, as well as the Niger State Government confirmed the incident in separate statements issued on Thursday.

“During yesterday’s deadly encounter, a large number of casualties were instantly recorded at the said mining site being owned and managed by Chinese Nationals as the AK-47 rifle wielding terrorists gunned down their victims at sight as well as shot sporadically into the air thereby leading to more devastating consequence,” Kokki’s statement read.

“Information at my disposal further proved that about thirteen (13) people including seven (7) mobile policemen attached to the mining site probably as guards (providing security cover for the expatriates) and six (6) other civilians were gruesomely killed through an ambush while scores of others who sustained various degrees of multiple gunshots injuries (some in critical condition) have been taken to various medical facilities for treatment.”

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“However, a yet-to-be ascertained number of workers in the mining site including four Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted,” the Niger government added in a statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar.

Although Kokki noted that the Nigerian Army stationed nearby swung into action to repel the attack, he said several officers were gunned down by the assailants.

In a separate update, he added that the death toll had risen, noting that “almost thirty soldiers have been discovered in the bush and confirmed dead”.  More bodies are still being expected as search efforts have intensified, Kokki said.

While reacting to the incident, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, commiserated with the families of the victims.

“It really saddened my heart to hear about this. It is even more worrisome to know that lives of security personnel were involved and expatriates were also among those kidnapped,” the governor said in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel-Berje.

“My heart goes out to the family of our security men killed, I pray that Allah will grant them Aljannah Firdausi and quick recovery to those injured.”

While urging the security personnel not to be dampened by the incident, the governor charged them to remain committed to discharging their duties and ensure the safe return of the four Chinese Nationals and others kidnapped at the mining site.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has condemned in it entirety the terrorist attack on joint security operatives at a mining site in Ajata Aboki, a community in Gurmana Ward, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. 

The attack on Wednesday led to the killing of many security personnel and the kidnap of unspecified number of workers at the site including 4 expatriates of Chinese Nationals.

Reacting to the development, Governor Bello in a statement, commiserated with heads of the various security agencies that are part of the joint security operatives in the State for the loss of their personnel while ensuring the safety of people.

The governor also sympathized with the families of the slain security agents, assuring them that the sacrifices of their loved ones will not go in vain and commended the bravery of those who engaged the terrorists, causing them to record casualties also.

He acknowledged the efforts of the joint security operatives in the state with the support of his administration which has brought relative peace in the affected areas in the state.

While urging the security personnel not to be dampened by the incident on their colleagues, he encouraged them to remain committed in discharging their duties and ensure the safe return of the four Chinese Nationals and unspecified number of workers kidnapped at the mining site.

The governor has equally directed a manhunt on the remaining terrorists to ensure they do not escape.

“This is really disturbing especially as the state has been relatively peaceful with only pockets of attacks being recorded as compared to some time past.

“It really saddened my heart to hear about this. It is even more worrisome to know that lives of security personnel were involved and expatriates were also among those kidnapped.

“My heart goes out to the family of our security men killed, I pray that Allah will grant them Aljannah Firdausi and quick recovery to those injured.

He also prayed for the safe return of those kidnapped.

The terrorists were said to have attacked joint security operatives in an ambush while the personnel were responding to a distressed call at a mining site in Ajata Aboki community in Gurmana Ward of Shiroro local government area leading to several casualties on both sides.

Authorities say four Chinese Nationals and an unknown number of workers at the mining site were kidnapped, there whereabout remain unknown even as security operatives continue to comb various enclaves with the hope of rescuing the victims.

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