- Bandits in Niger have killed three Nigerian soldiers and a member of a vigilante group in the state
- The soldiers and the vigilante member were killed during a gun duel with the well-armed bandits
- They had gone to rescue a Chinese expatriate and his driver kidnapped by the bandits in Rafi local government area of the state
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A report by Daily Trust indicated that three soldiers and one vigilante were killed by gunmen in Yakila, Rafi local government area of Niger state.
The gunmen had abducted one Chinese expatriate along with his driver on a construction site in the village and fled to an unknown destination.
According to the report, the soldiers and a vigilante member were trying to rescue the expatriate and his driver when they were killed in a gun battle.
A witness quoted in the report under the condition of anonymity, said they lost their lives in an exchange of gunfire with the bandits numbering about 30.
The witness further revealed that the bandits were heavily armed and carried out the operation riding on 15 motorcycles.
An aide to the Niger state governor on security matters, Colonel MK Maikundi (rtd) confirmed the incident, saying security agencies have mobilised to tackle the situation.
The incident comes days after His Holiness Pope Francis, called for special prayers for northern Nigeria as violence and killings continue in the region.
The head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican city state called for the prayers in a tweet posted on his official Twitter page on Saturday, August 15.
“Let us invoke the intercession of the 'Mother of hope' for all the situations in the world that are most in need of hope, in particular for the population of the northern region of Nigeria, victims of violence and terrorist attacks,” he tweeted.
Days before the pope's tweet, Legit.ng had reported that a member of the Bauchi House of Assembly representing Baraza Dass constituency, Honourable Musa Mante was killed by unknown gunmen on Thursday night, August 13, at his residence in the state.
The gunmen were said to have invaded the lawmaker's house late in the night, killed him, and abducted his wives and kids.
As Nigeria continues to witness killings and violence in the north, Obadiah Mailafia, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria recently declared that a governor from northern Nigeria is one of the commanders of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
After his claim, Mailafia was interrogated by the Department of State Services, after which he announced that he stands by his statement.
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