EXCLUSIVE: Bandits kill soldiers, burn military vehicles, APC in Zamfara

BANDITS suspected to be loyalists of a notorious kingpin Gwaska Dankeremi have attacked the Military base in Zurmi community, in Zormi local government area of Zamfara state, killing three soldiers.

The ICIR gathered that the resurgence of the banditry attacks in the area could be linked with the recent military operations that led to the recovery of many cattle from the dreaded bandits in a nearby forest.

Consequently, the bandits launched a series of attacks on the Zormi community for five consecutive times, leaving four civilians dead and injuring others.

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Zormi shares a border with the Niger Republic.

The ICIR gathered that the worst of the attacks occurred in the afternoon of Tuesday, December 12.

The attack lasted from 4pm to 6:30pm during which four patrol vehicles of security operatives, including a military armoured personnel carrier (APC), were destroyed.

A government official who pleaded anonymity said three soldiers were killed during the encounter.

One of the military vehicles attacked by bandits in Zurlum

“We appreciate the bravery and agility of the gallant soldiers who faced the terrorists with AK47s while they (bandits) were shooting them with rockets.

“It was a terrible experience indeed; we were thrown into confusion and frightened due to the heavy sounds of guns both from the bandits and security operatives, as nobody could even dare go out to pray”, the official lamented.

A military APC attacked in Zurmi by bandits

According to the official, a military aircraft was seen hovering in the air, giving soldiers cover. After a while, it disappeared.

The source suggested that more modern weapons be provided for the Army to enable its officers to conduct their operations effectively.

“Most of them don’t even have bulletproof vests or helmets for their safety. They are giving their lives for us, so there is a need to provide them with the need to do their job if at all this country is serious,” added the source.

Side view of a military APC attacked in Zurmi by bandits

Zayyanu Na-Rabe, a resident of Zurmi town who escaped a bullet on Monday, said most of the outskirts area of the town were deserted in addition to over 40 nearby villages, including Kadamutsa, Gidan Shaho, Sangamawa, and Dada, where residents had fled and were taking refuge in Zurmi town before the renewed attacks.

Narrating his ordeal, Mallam Abubakar, a classroom teacher, said the bandits arrived in large numbers brandishing sophisticated weapons. They entered through the Gada Biyu area, Bakin Gidan Zaki and Gangaren Korama, leading to the General Hospital Zurmi, as they shot sporadically.



    He added that during the earlier attack on Saturday, the bandits arrived at Nasarawar Zurmi area through Gidan Shaho village and killed two aged men, while two others were killed during the Monday and Tuesday attacks, respectively.

    The ICIR reports that Zamfara is one of the North-West states facing protracted insecurity.

    The state’s immediate past governor, Bello Matalle, lost re-election in March after battling unsuccessfully throughout his four years in office to secure his state.

    In August, The ICIR reported how President Tinubu appointed him a Minister of State for Defence despite failure to protect his people.

    Zamfara has faced attacks from terrorists, lost hundreds of residents to insecurity, and had thousands of others displaced.

    In October 2022, this organisation reported how 30 schools remained shut after one year because of insecurity.

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