Bandits Clash with Soldiers in Plateau State, Several Feared Dead

A clash between suspected bandits and Nigerian soldiers in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State left several individuals believed to be bandits dead on Saturday. The incident occurred when the alleged criminals were en route to target an unidentified village, taking advantage of the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in the area.

According to Marcus Artu, the Chairman of Mangu Local Government Area, the assailants encountered a military presence along the Gindiri Road, leading to a confrontation that resulted in fatalities. Although Artu confirmed the development, he was unable to provide specific casualty figures. He stated, “What I was told is that some attackers came out in large numbers this morning (Saturday) and wanted to attack the people, but the soldiers repelled them. As for the number of attackers killed by the soldiers, I cannot tell you because I don’t have the information yet.”

A resident of Mangu, Philip Jato, reported that many of the suspected bandits lost their lives during the engagement, while others were apprehended by the security forces. Despite the situation being currently calm, residents are still living in fear.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, urged the troops of Operation Hakorin Damisa to swiftly address the prevailing insecurity in Plateau State. During his tour of the troubled council area, General Lagbaja expressed confidence in the capabilities of his men to quell the persistent attacks, particularly in Mangu Local Government Area.

The Army Chief acknowledged that the security situation had grown complex due to the introduction of ethnic and religious dimensions. He emphasized the importance of adhering to strict rules of engagement for the troops.

General Lagbaja stated, “As soldiers, your focus is on one thing: stamp out the criminality and violence once and for all as I will not come back here except to go to the field myself.”

Regarding allegations that some soldiers were complicit and taking sides in the conflict, General Lagbaja mentioned that these claims had been thoroughly investigated and found baseless. He pointed out that some of the soldiers were natives of Mangu Local Government and could not have overlooked the incidents.

The Chief of Army Staff conducted an on-the-spot assessment of damaged churches and property in the area. He also urged members of the public to promptly contact the troops and military emergency lines when necessary and provide direct feedback and reports, as has been done in the past.

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