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Lives lost, property destroyed as Bandits-Military wage war in Sokoto

NEWSMAN, Sokoto – Bandits have allegedly attacked communities in retaliation to the ongoing military onslaught in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto state, north west of Nigeria.

About 5000 people are said to have fled from some villages across the local government area as bandits attacked the community, killing at least six people, carting away livestock and looting shops, Daily Trust reported.

Fighter jets have been bombarding suspected hideouts of the bandits in Kagara forest around Isa and Sabon Birni local government areas after the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar last week, flagged-off the second phase of Air Interdiction operation in the state.

Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the massive deployment of air assets to the State was to add impetus to operations in the State and its environs with a view to bringing the spate of criminal activities to a decisive end, while still assuring of a close working relationship with ground troops to ensure that the armed bandits that escape the aerial bombardments are mopped up on the ground.

“The air raid would have been more damaging on the bandits had there been ground troops to mop them up while fleeing the forest. “When they were threatening to come back and retaliate, we thought it was just a mere empty threat, until around midnight on Tuesday when they came in their hundreds on motorcycles and starting ransacking our villages.” a villager said.

Other sources disclosed that the bandits also blocked and killed many motorists and passengers along Isa road on Tuesday night.

“Some of the fleeing villagers were taking refuge in Sardauna and Maitandu primary schools in Isa town, while the sole administrator of the area had provided them with food” said Surajo Isa, Information Officer of Isa Local Government Area confirmed.

Spokesman of the Sokoto State Police Command, ASP Muhammad Sadiq, and the acting Public Relations Officer of 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lieutenant Hammaga could not be reached for comment as at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal had on June 10 imposed a 12 hourly restriction on movement of motorcycles in  Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah and Goronyo local government areas where banditary have been on the increase as motorcycles are the key means of transportation for bandits.

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