Laleye Dipo in Minna
Suspected gunmen at the weekend invaded some communities in Munya and Paikoro Local Government Areas of Niger State, killing not less than three people and injuring about 15 others.
One of those killed in Kaffinkoro town was described as Francis Daniel, who operated a computer centre in the town, and was said to have been hit by bullet as he attempted to escape into the bush while the two others were men of the local security outfit.
The bandits also kidnapped 20 people most of them women.
The communities raided in Paikoro LGA were Beni, old and new Dalolo, Aboloso, Ishau and Amale, while those invaded at Munya LGA were Gwari Nyayi, Kabiri and Biri.
It was learnt that the bandits stormed the communities on about 50 motorcycles.
The raids, which started last Saturday evening, according to reports, continued into the early hours of Sunday during which several foodstuff were stolen by the bandits.
The District Head of Beni, Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki, who confirmed the invasion in a telephone conversation, said the operation started last Saturday evening when the armed men, numbering about 200 on over 50 motorcycles, stormed the communities in three groups.
According to Sarki, the Saturday operation lasted for one hour before the bandits left with sacks of food items and other goods looted from shops and houses in the town.
He said yesterday morning, the bandits returned and distributed themselves into three groups, moving from one community to another targeting only food stuffs and provisions from shops.
The district head said the yesterday raid started around 9 a.m. and lasted for over three hours, adding that all efforts to get assistance from security operatives was proven abortive.
Sarki said: “For the three hours the last Sunday operation lasted, one, helicopter owned by one of the security agencies in the country was busy hovering round the communities while the bandits were operating on the ground.”
Also, Sarki said the Divisional Police Officer in the area, who was alerted of the attack, said he was handicapped and could not address the distressd calls because their operational vehicles had no fuel.
The traditional ruler added that the women abducted were made to carry the looted food items to where they will be loaded into their getaway vehicles.
Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached for comments.