Over the weekend, on Saturday, armed bandits carried out a successful attack on a Nigeria military base in Zamfara State, leaving at least 12 officers dead.
This is yet another brazen attack carried out by the daredevil bandits targeting the military in recent weeks.
Bandits who only used to target harmless villagers seem to be growing in confidence and now taking the fight to the military. This is even as they’ve started targeting high profile Nigerians and their relatives.
Attack On Zamfara Military Base
According to Premium Times, those familiar with the attack confirmed that at least 12 personnel were confirmed dead while three were wounded in the attack on Forward Operating Base in Mutumji, Dansadau Local Government of Zamfara State.
The sad incident comes amidst heightened offensive by security forces against bandits in the North-west region of Nigeria.
Scores of bandits were reportedly killed and many arrested in several operations which necessitated the shutdown of telephone networks in Zamfara and some parts of neighbouring Katsina State.
The latest attack on the military base, according to sources, left a casualty of nine Air Force, two police and one Nigerian Army personnel.
All slain personnel were evacuated to Yerima Bakura Specialist Hospital in Gusau and the three wounded have been receiving treatments at a brigade medical facility, officials said.
The bandits also carted away weapons and other equipment from the slain security personnel while also setting the base ablaze.
Defence spokesperson, Benjamin Sawyer, a major general, was not available for comments on the incident Sunday night.
However, a source at Defence Headquarters said, “Operation are ongoing in that area and there is total shut down of GSM communications.
“Our troops are consolidating on successes recorded so far. Information on ongoing operations will be premature at this stage.
“Let us all join voices in ensuring out troops once and for all deal with the menace of insecurity in the Northwest and Northcentral. They need not be distracted for now.”
Previous Bandit Attack On Military
Recall that last month, bandits shut down a Nigerian Air Force jet, forcing the pilot to eject before the fighter jet went up in flames as it hit the forest.
The aircraft, which was being used to attack locations where the criminals are taking refuge, came under intense enemy fire by the bandits which brought it down.
The Nigerian Air Force, however, said there was no casualty as the pilot escaped unhurt.
That incident made it at least four air crashes involving Nigerian military planes in the last seven months.
Reno Omokri Reacts To Bandit Attack On Zamfara Military Base
Reno Omokri, a political activist and a critic of the current Nigerian government, has expressed skepticism over the attack on the Zamfara military base.
Reacting, in a post on his Facebook page, Reno said he hopes that the report is not true, stressing that if the attack is confirmed to be true, the bandits should be renamed “radical jihadists terrorists”.
His post reads, “I sincerely hope the reports that bandits overran a military base in Zamfara yesterday, and killed 9 airforce officers, 2 policemen and 1 soldier is untrue.
“But if it is, then the time has come to stop calling these people bandits and start calling them by their real name, radical jihadists terrorists.
“Where is safe in Nigeria? Nowhere! General Buhari went to the Southeast to promise Ohana’eze Ndi’Igbo security. Is Katsina secure? Is Zamfara safe? Is Sokoto peaceful?
“If he can’t secure his own region, then is it the Southeast he will secure? Buhari himself is part of the problem!”
Bandits Invade Niger Military Camp
While bandits attacked the Zamfara military base, bandits trying to escape the ongoing military operation in Zamfara and Katsina states met their waterloo in the hands of soldiers at Maganda village near Alawa in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The bandits, who were said to be escaping through the notorious Allawa Forest in their hundreds, ran into the military camp stationed at Alawa, and engaged the soldiers in a serious gun battle for several hours.
It was gathered that one soldier was reportedly missing at the end of the gun battle.
It was also learnt that scores of the bandits were neutralised and several others escaped into the forest with bullets injuries.
It was also gathered that the bandits who escaped with serious bullets wounds are trailed by the soldiers as the entire forest is being combed.
About six machine guns and a number of AK-47 rifles and bags of ammunitions were recovered from the bandits.
A source at Allawa community said, “In fact from the dead bodies that we saw, they look like foreigners, all of them are carrying long hair like women. They don’t have resemblance of Nigerians and they don’t know the terrain that was why they ran into the soldiers. They did not know that there is soldier camp there.”
Bandits had in April invaded the Military Base in Alawa, and killed five soldiers and a mobile policeman.
The entire military camp was razed by the armed bandits who invaded the base about 3:00 am when soldiers had just returned to their base from an area patrol.
After the invasion of the military base, the bandits moved to the community where they killed seven people and abducted a number of villagers.