Niger: Landmines kill four civil defence personnel
Landmines on Monday claimed the lives of four personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Galadima Gogo, Niger State.
The civil defence persinnpe were on a joint mission with soldiers to rout bandits that attacked some towns in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state on Sunday night when their Toyota Hilux van ran over landmines planted by the terrorists.
Four civil defence personnel, including their commander, died on the spot while the fifth member of the team was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.
The bandits burnt down an entire village in the area and killed many inhabitants.
According to a source close to the community, after burning down the Joint Security TaskForce camp, the gunmen move from house to house and set ablaze all the buildings in the community.
The attack which our source said started at about 1:00am on Monday, lasted till 6:00am when the gunmen were seen moving out of the community with sacks loaded with food stuff and other valuables on their motorcycles.
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The Chairman of the Council, Mallam Suleiman Chukuba while confirming the latest attack to our correspondent, said the gunmen are not Bandits but Boko Haram, going by the sophistication of the weapons they were said to be carrying, including explosive devices.
One of the explosive devices planted round the community by the gunmen, according to him, went off this morning, destroying a Hilux Van belonging to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) on their way to the community to ascertain the level of destruction by the gunmen.
Only two out of the number of NSCDC in the vehicle survived the explosion and are in critical condition, receiving treatment at a government facility in Minna, the state capital.
“As I speak to you now, no single building is standing in the community, everything was set ablaze and the entire community is deserted. Right now we can not ascertain the total number of people that have being killed, the situation is quite serious.
“These are Boko Haram not Bandits because they were heavily equipped with sophisticated weapons including explosive devices. This morning Civil Defense vehicle ran into one of the explosive devices, their vehicle destroyed and many of them were killed”, he said.
Before the invasion, the gunmen had on Saturday attacked Pelelle, Galape and Gofan Keremi villages in Galkogo district, kidnapping 12 people and injured a number of the villagers.
Galkogo community had remained without security since after the last month attack which left many members of the Joint security TaskForce dead.
Galkogo community serves as a transit root through which the gunmen launch attacks on other communities in the area but the presence of the Joint Security TaskForce had been a stumbling block to them, hence the need to dislodge the security agents through relentless attacks.
Shiroro has been under serious attacks from terrorists fir several months and is a mere 45 minutes’ drive from the state capital, Minna.
Residents of Minna are reportedly living in fear of a likely invasion of the state capital by the terrorists.
Late last year, the terrorists had abducted some persons by the gate of Federal University of Technology, Minna.