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Gunmen on Thursday attacked a mining site in Ajata- Aboki, Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government, Niger State where they killed several persons, injured and abducted many others including four Chinese nationals working in the site.
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 which were obtained by Africa Daily News, New York.
In a statement, Kokki said; ‘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’.
‘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’ he added.
‘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 pointed out 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 calling on 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.