From John Adams, Minna
The deployment of over 1,000 security agents to Allawa forests by the Niger state government on the search and rescue operation for the 136 school children abducted from an Islamic school in Tegina, in Rafi Local government area of the state is beginning to yield result as no fewer than five have been killed on Thursday.
The Special Task Force put together by the state government to flush the armed gunmen from the Allawa Forests in the area of the engaged a group of bandits in a gun battle, killing five and arrested one.
Several others escaped with billets wounds and are being trail by the security agents.
The bodies of those killed and the two arrested were taken to Kagara, the headquarters of the local government by men of the Special Task Force.
It was gathered that in the early hours of Thursday, the bandits in their usual large numbers, and riding on motorcycles with each of them carrying AK 47 rifles stormed the same Tegina town where the 136 Salihu Tanko Islamic school children were abducted three week ago, and started shooting sporadically to send t fears into the people.
The bandits, during the operation, succeeded in rustled several cattle and dispossesed the people of their property before trying to escape from the town.
According to our source, the men of the task force combing forests in the area where immediately alerted and they quickly mobilized for a counter operation which led to the neutralization of five of the bandits and arrest of two others.\
The security TaskForce also succeeded in recovering the cattle rustled and took back the property of the villagers from the armed gunmen.
The Niger state police command is yet to issue any statement on the success recorded by security agents but a senior government official told our correspondent that the operation flush out bandits from the state has come to stay.
He said similar operation would be extended to other troubled areas of the state, adding that “the government can no longer watch these bandits operating freely like before. We are ready for them”.
It outdoors be recalled that the state Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Monday, launched a Special security Task Force comprising of 1000 armed men to dislodge bandits from the Allawa and neighbouring forests where it is believed that the abducted Salihu Tanko Islamiyya pupils are being kept.
Bello tasked the men of the Task force to ” take the battle to the bandits” and rescue the pupils from their clutches.