Bandits have attacked a mining site at Ajata-Aboki in Gurmana Ward of the Shiroro Local Government Area, Niger State.
They were said to have killed 13 persons, including security agents, civilians; and kidnapped four Chinese nationals, as well as many residents.
The attackers, reportedly armed with sophisticated weapons, were said to have arrived in the community around 2pm and headed to the mining site, shooting at anyone on sight.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Emmanuel Umar, confirmed the attack in a statement on Thursday but said the number of casualties were yet to be ascertained.
He said, “Niger State Government wishes to confirm that on June 29, 2022, around 4pm, based on a distress call received that bandits invaded a mining site located at Ajata Aboki village via Erena Ward of Shiroro LGA, and a joint security team was mobilised to the scene in response to the distress call.
“The terrorists were engaged by the joint security team, resulting in casualties from both sides.
“A yet-to-be ascertained number of workers in the mining site including four Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted.
“Security forces mobilised reinforcement for the manhunt of the terrorists and rescued sone of the injured victims, including security personnel that sustained varying degrees of injury. They have been taken to a government medical facility in the state for treatment
“While the Niger State Government commiserates with the heads of security agencies in the state and the families of the slain personnel, the state government assures that their sacrifices will not go in vain.”
A resident of the area however told our correspondent in confidence that “about 11 people including seven mobile policemen attached to the mining site as security guards and six other civilian workers lost their lives in the attack.”
The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youth of Niger State, Sani Kokki, confirmed the incident on Thursday.
He said unspecified number of Chinese nationals were kidnapped.