From John Adams, Minna
Barely 24 hours after bandits launched an attack on a military camp in Zagzaga, Munya Local Government Area of Niger state, the army has shutdown it camp and evacuated all its troops from the community.
The army, supported by youths from the community, have launched a search operation for a soldier that was reportedly abducted by the bandits.
It was gathered that the mobile phone of the missing soldier have been ringing since yesterday when the incident occurred, but he is not responding to the call, fueling suspicion that he may have either being killed or abducted by the bandits and his phone seized.
On Wednesday morning, bandits numbering about 60 engaged the soldiers in a gun battle leading to heavy casualties on the side of the bandits. No soldiers was injured in the attack except the missing RSM.
A source close to the community told Daily Sun that few hours after the soldiers moved out of the community in what the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ibrahim Matene said was a “tactical withdrawal” the bandits launched a coordinated attacks on some communities in the area.
About 15 people were said to have been abducted in the midnight attacks, leaving the areas now completely deserted as the people have fled to neighbouring villages.
Communities that came under attacks were Zagzaga, Zhani, Guni and Maraban daudu. The villagers have all relocated from the communities, leaving only the youths and some men behind.
When contacted on the latest incident, the Secretary to the State Government told our correspondent that the military camp was being closed temporarily for tactical reason, stressing that the military has been stationed in the community for the past five years due to the notorious nature of the area.
He disclosed that Zagzaga community and other surrounding villages had served as entry and exit route for bandits before the soldiers were brought and stationed there, adding that the people have enjoyed a relative peace for the past five years that the military were there.
A military base in Allawa and Basa, Shiroro Local Government was three weeks ago attacked by bandits who killed five soldiers and a mobile policeman.