Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed 11 Nigerian soldiers during an attack on a military base in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Gunmen Attack Military Base In Kaduna
It was gathered that the incident happened on Monday when the bandits came in large numbers on motorcycles and carrying heavy weapons including rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) before engaging the soldiers at the military base at Polwire village.
Military sources told TheCable that the bandits engaged the troops in a fierce gun battle which lasted for about two hours before the soldiers were dislodged.
The source said, “We lost 11 men while 19 soldiers were wounded in action, after they overwhelmed the troops. They also burnt down three armoured personel carriers (APC) after they overwhelmed the troops.”
The gunmen were also said to have carted away with several weapons from the troops.
It was gathered that the wounded soldiers were evacuated to Birnin Gwari General Hospital and 271 Nigerian Airforce Medical Center while those who were killed have been evacuated to the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Kaduna (44 NARHK) in Kaduna.
However, another source told PUNCH that the casualty figures on the side of soldiers might be more, adding that three civilians were killed.
“Two of the civilians were members of a vigilante group while one was a traveller,” he added.
The chairman of the Birnin Gwari Emirate Progressive Union, Ishaq Usman Kasai, who also confirmed the death of three vigilante operatives, added that the attack took place on Sunday around 3pm.
He added that the terrorists suspected to be the Ansaru were believed to be coming from Niger State when they attacked the military base.
Kasai, however, noted that normalcy has gradually returned to Birnin Gwari who had been under intense attack.
“When we heard we had to run and seek refuge elsewhere. Most of the residents slept outside Birnin Gwari town,” he added.
He noted that the security situation in Birnin Gwari was getting out of hand, calling on the government to take urgent steps in addressing the situation.
“The security situation is becoming increasingly alarming whereby a large swath of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area is now at the mercy of marauding bandits who usually roll into towns and villages in convoys of motorcycles mostly riding three on each, brandishing AK47 rifles killing and abducting people including women and children.
“BEPU noted that the bandits usually spend hours operating with impunity and unleashing terror, especially in rural communities.
“The bandits also placed taxes on various communities and keep coming back repeatedly to attack them because of the absence of law enforcement agents.
“BEPU observes this situation as not only tragic but shameful that these bunch of ragtag bandits on motorcycles wielding AK47 rifles can roam most communities in the area with impunity killing and abducting peaceful helpless innocent citizens in a nation that seems to have standing Armed Forces and the Police,” he added.
KanyiDaily recalls that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai had recently alleged that the Nigerian military knows the locations of the bandits wreaking havoc in the state, but has refused to bomb their hideouts.