From Maiharaji Altine, Gusau
Three soldiers and five people of kabasa village of Maru local government area in Zamfara state were said to have lost their lives during an encounter with the bandits.
Seven others who sustained serious injuries were now receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Magami town.
A resident of the area, Malam Mohammed said the bandits were engaged in a fight with the people of Kabasa village who came out en mass to protect themselves when the bandits entered into their village.
According to Mohammed, the bandits were in the village for reprisal attack following the killing of their people by the villagers in an ambush some weeks ago.
“We got information that the bandits were planning to attack us in a mosque during Friday prayers, as such, we mobilised ourselves and moved to the forest where we ambushed them, killing many of them”.
“That was why, they came back to attacked us yesterday in order to avenge the killing of their kinsmen”.
He maintained that, the bandits who were on motorcycles invaded the village in the evening of yesterday where they were squarely faced by the villagers who were ready to defend themselves.
According to him, “The bandits and the villagers fought for more than three hours when the military who were stationed in Magami town, closed to the village came to the scene for help”.
He stated that, during the encounter, three soldiers and five people of the village were killed.
He also maintained that, the bandits have also lost many of their people but they took away their dead bodies.
All efforts to get comments from the Operation Hadarin Daji proved abortive as according to an army officer who begged for anonymity said “Only the Defence Headquarters in Abuja can speak to press on issues related to information dissemination”.
The spokesperson of the state police command SP Mohammed Shehu also said that he was attending an important meeting and could not speak to Press at the time of filling in this report.