Joint police and vigilante efforts to end siege by armed bandits in Rafi Local Government Council of Niger state has yielded desired results with the killing of nine armed bandits during hot in an exchange of fire power.
Attacks by armed bandits has led to the loss of hundreds of lives and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed in some Local Government Councils of Niger state besides cases of rape of women and their children by the criminals.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Niger state Command, ASP Wasiu Abiodun who confirmed the killings to journalists on Saturday said the incident took place in Karaya, Mahanga and Bakachi villages in the early hours Saturday.
The armed bandits, according to the PPRO had engaged the combined police and local vigilante in a gun battle at Makujeri village, a distance of less than four kilometer from Kagara headquarters of Rafi Local Government Area.
The feat was made possible by the determination of the police and vigilante group in the area to end the reign of terror on the communities by the armed bandits whose activities has made residents sleep with one eye open.
ASP Abiodun however told journalists that Kagara DPO had mobilized operation puff adder fast enough to end the activities and with the combined efforts of some local vigilantes the armed bandits were engaged in fireworks which brought down nine of them.
Rafi and its environs have known no peace for a long time and this prompted the joint operation and at the end nine of the bandits died, about three of them ran towards Mekujeri village but were intercepted, lynched and burnt beyond recognition by the angry mob, Abiodun said.
Apart from killing of nine of the terrorists, ASP Wasiu Abiodun said 150 of cattle and 200 sheep rustled by the criminals were also recovered from bandits during the gun duel which lasted for many hours.
The Chairman of Rafi Local Government Area, Alhaji Ismaila Modibo who also confirmed the foiled attack advised the affected communities not to panic but cooperate with security forces by providing useful information that would lead to an end to such attacks in the area.
Chief of Staff Government House, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe who visited the scene of the attack urged them to remain calm, assuring the commitments of the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello led administration to rid the state of all forms of criminal elements.