By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
An unnumbered group of armed bandits estimated to be about 200 on Monday afternoon invaded Kokoki village of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State and held the villagers captive for hours on end.
Most of the armed bandits wore facial mask, head gears, and some with little turbans round their heads. All of them carried assorted assault rifles, long knives and clubs.
The armed invaders struck at the time many able bodied men were either on their farms, some grazing their flock in green pasture fields away from homes and some in nearby rivers on fishing expeditions.
The few at home were engaged in chores while the women were doing their own house chores as the bandits struck.
The Director General of the state’s Agency, Ahmed Inga disclosed that his office got a distress call from the area that some gunmen had invaded the community on Monday, shooting indiscriminately in the air.
Inga said the bandits tortured their victims for several hours while they operated in the village unhindered.
He said some of the victims were beaten pulp by the invading armed bandits. “They beat some of them to the point that they became unconscious” he explained.
The bandits ransacked each of the houses in the village and dispossessed them of their belongings including bags of foodstuffs, cloths and cellphones.
The bandits also carted away flock belonging to the villagers and fled the community while firing their guns into the air.
Villages in Shiroro, Rafi, Munya have been regular targets of attacks and invasions by armed bandits in the last two years as armed kidnappers, cattle thieves and other bandits reign in near countless attacks on their communities.