Less than 24 hours after gunmen ambushed a major and four soldiers in Igu village, Munya Local Government Area (LGA), Niger State, the Nigerian Air Force launched a major offensive against bandits, killing “scores” of them in multiple airstrikes on their hideout.
On Friday afternoon, airstrikes were carried out on the bandits’ hideout in Camace in Kazai Ward, Tsohon Kabula village, all in Munya LGA of the state, when the bandits were said to be regrouping following the killing of the major and four other soldiers.
Also killed during the ambush by the bandits were four local vigilantes while several others including some soldiers were injured and are said to be receiving treatment at a government health facility in Minna, the state capital.
A source close to Kamace village said that about 20 out of those kidnapped from Adunu and Beni communities earlier escaped to freedom during the military onslaught on the bandits.
Although according to sources, the number of the bandits killed in the airstrikes could not be ascertained as they were bombed in two different locations, he said out of the 35 motorcycles of the bandits sighted in the bush and carrying three people each, only seven escaped.
He said the first group of the bandits that were hit by the airstrike were trying to take cover at Kamace Primary School before they were struck, leaving over 30 of them and their motorcycles destroyed.
He disclosed further that the second group that were killed by the airstrike had actually come to evacuate the bodies of their colleague, unknown to them that the fighter jet had not left the vicinity when an unspecified number of them were neutralised.
The source further added that following the heavy causalities suffered from the bombardment, the bandits are now in disarray, scrambling for safety, adding that “some of them were running towards pole wires, Kudami in Kafin Koro, Paikoro local government area and Rijana forest in Kaduna State”.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr.Emmanuel Umar, confirmed the air raid but declined to comment further.