Hell was let loose in Niger state, north central Nigeria Wednesday night as some terrorists invaded a mining site in Ajata Aboki in Erena district of Shiroro local government area of the state, killing no fewer than 30 military personnel, seven Mobile Policemen and six civilians working at the site.
The gunmen who invaded the mining site in their large number, succeeded in abducting unspecified number of Chinese Nationals which the local said was the target of the gunmen.
The mining site, according to a reliable source close to the community, is owned by a powerful figure in the state, and the area has remained a-no-go area for both the people of the community and any visitor, and has remained heavily guarded by both soldiers and mobile policemen.
The mining site which the Chairman of the local government, Mallam Suleiman Chukuba is said to be fully aware of It existence, has survived every attacks by gunmen who have continued to raid communities in the area with reckless abandoned in the last five years but have avoided it.
The State Government while confirming the attacks by the gunmen did not give number of casualties but said a joint security team were mobilized to the scene in response to the distress call.
In a statement by the Commissioner for internal security, Mr. Emmanuel Umar pointed out that “there were yet to be determined number of casualties from both sides.
“However, a yet to be ascertained number of workers in the mining site including two Chinese nationals were reported to have been abducted.
According to the Commissioner “Security forces mobilized reinforcement for the manhunt of the remaining terrorists as some of them were neutralized and rescue of the injured victims including security personnel that sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a government medical facility in the state for treatment”
The statement further added that “state government acknowledged all the efforts of the joint security operatives and that of the communities in the State towards taming the spate of insecurity in some parts of the state, hence, security personnel are enjoined not to be discouraged in discharging their sacred duties of protecting citizens against all forms of threats as government will continue to be steadfast in providing them with the needed support in all ramifications”.
Meanwhile, more bodies of soldiers killed in the mining site attack have been discovered with the casualties figure now standing at 30 soldiers.
Also a Lt. Col. is said to be among the five soldiers currently receiving treatment at a government medical facility in Minna, the state capital.
Although there is no official figure from either the state government or the military authority on the number of soldiers killed in the attack that saw over 300 gunmen invading the mining site that the real owner is still being kept secret, our correspondent gathered that 31 bodies of the soldiers are currently undergoing embalmment at the IBB Specialized hospital in Minna.
According a source close to the community, over 50 gunmen were also neutralized by the soldiers who engaged them in a fierce battle which began at about 4:00pm.