Bandit Attack in Niger State Leaves One Dead and Nine Abducted, Amidst Growing Insecurity

Bandit Attack in Niger State Leaves One Dead and Nine Abducted, Amidst Growing Insecurity

In the latest surge of violence in Niger State, armed bandits targeted the border town of Garam, situated between the state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), resulting in the abduction of nine individuals and the tragic death of one person. This assault marks the fourth incident within a month, underscoring the escalating security challenges faced by the region.

The attack unfolded on Tuesday around 10:30 pm, with the assailants systematically moving from house to house, seizing residents. A local eyewitness recounted that the bandits, speaking Fulfulde, began by burglarizing shops, particularly those where young Hausa individuals were known to sleep. The perpetrators then proceeded to forcibly enter a nearby house, breaking windows and removing barriers. Despite a prevailing atmosphere of fear since the previous attack on January 2, during which many residents chose not to sleep at home, a brief period of relative peace prompted some to return, only to face the renewed onslaught.

During the operation, the bandits fired shots sporadically, creating a heightened sense of terror among the residents. According to accounts from Fulani neighbors, the bandits declared, “we must not allow these animals (referring to the kidnapped victims) to escape.” Notably, a woman of Nupe descent, suffering from chronic ulcer and kidnapped with her two children, was later abandoned by the bandits in the bush. Her release was facilitated by herders who discovered them tied to a tree, subsequently alerting soldiers from the 102 Battalion.

Shockingly, despite receiving a distress call at 11:00 pm, the response from the military was delayed, with soldiers arriving at 1:45 am. Witnesses reported that the soldiers merely conducted a brief reconnaissance, flashing lights, and leaving without engaging the bandits. They returned at 3:45 am, after the assailants had successfully carried out the abductions, leaving the local residents to grapple with the horrifying incident without adequate military intervention.

The recurring attacks highlight the urgent need for enhanced security measures in the region, as communities continue to endure the devastating impact of banditry and insecurity.

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