Gunmen went haywire across Niger communities on Sunday and Monday night, killing well over 60 vigilantes and five others in Tungan Magajiya, Rijau local government area and paikpa village in Munya local government area of Niger state in two separate attacks.
The 60 local vigilantes were killed at Sakaba, a border village between Niger and Kebbi state on Sunday night at about 9;00 pm in an ambush.
The vigilantes are from Sakaba in Kebbi state and their counterparts from Tungan Magajia and Rijau in Niger state who were on a Joint patrol along the area due to the incessant gunmen attacks on communities from the two states.
According to a source close to Rijau, the vigilantes were on the trail of the gunmen said to be numbering over 100 after receiving information about their movement unknown to them (vigilantes) that an informant had alerted the gunmen that they were being trail by the vigilantes.
The gunmen immediately divided themselves into two with one group laying ambush while others advance forward. The vigilantes, unaware of the ambush, found themselves at the center of the gunmen who opened fire on them from back and front.
It was further gathered that those vigilantes who gun could not penetrate, were hacked down with machetes and other dangerous weapons.
Twelve of the victims were from Rijau while the remaining 48 are from Sakaba and Tungan Magajiya.
In another development, a middle age man has been arrested by the people in Rijau with 20 numbers of 25 liters Jerry can of petrol heading towards Warari village which has been deserted by the people due to gunmen activities.
The 20 Jerry can of fuel were being convey in a Toyota Corolla car when he was accosted by the villagers who demanded to know the destination of the commodity.
His unsatisfactory explanation, led to him being beaten to a point of death before he was handed over to the soldiers on patrol in the area.
However in Paikpa village in Munya local government area, gunmen killed no fewer than five villagers while a number of others were seriously injured in a midnight raid.
Unspecified number of cattle was stolen from the people by the rampaging gunmen, whom eyewitnesses said stormed the community at about 11:00pm, riding on motorcycles with each of them carrying AK47 rifles and other dangerous weapons.
The gunmen were said to have entered the village through Luwi community making the villagers to run in different directions after which the gunmen raided njita and Chibani where they kidnapped many people and rustled cattle before making their way to Paikpa village.
According to a source close to chibani village, “The gunmen operated for several hours searching all the houses in the village without any response to distress calls to the security men stationed at Sarkinpawa,” adding that after hours of raid the bandits escaped into the Chikun forest in Kaduna state.
The Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane confirmed the story but said he was yet to get the number of casualty.
Matane said the gunmen entered Paikpa late on Monday, during which the abducted some people and rustled a lot of cattle, adding that “Men of the Civilian JTF and local vigilante engaged the bandits in battle which lasted hours making the gunmen to escape into the bush.”
Also in Chukuba community in Shiroro local government, four women were raped simultaneously by gunmen on Sunday morning when the women had left IDP camp in Zumba to go and get some food stuff from the farm.
The women were said to have ran into the gunmen on their way back from the farm and were stopped and dragged to the bush where they were raped by those interested among the gunmen.
After the rape, they had all their food stuff confiscated by the gunmen before they were allowed to go in tears.