The Nigerian Army has confirmed that 18 soldiers were killed, eight injured and two others still missing in the attack by bandits in Kanya community of Danko Wasagu Local Government area of Kebbi State, which occured Tuesday evening.
The attack occurred while the deputy governor, Samaila Yombe, and the army commanding officer in Kebbi were visiting the community.
Sources had told the newspaper that 13 soldiers were killed during the attack. But in an internal communication to the Defence Headquarters, the Joint Task Force of Operation Hadarin Daji stated that 18 soldiers lost their lives in the gun battle with the bandits.
The soldiers involved were from the 223 Battalion stationed in Zuru, Kebbi State.
According to the official brief, titled “Special situation report”, the officers involved were from Team 10 of the battalion.
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“Troops engaged bandits/terrorists with deliberate fire but outnumbered by bandits. Troops casualties: 18 soldiers killed in action, 8 soldiers wounded in action and two soldiers missing in action. Equipment casualties: one gun truck burnt, one AA Dushka gun 18 AK-47 rifles carted away,” it stated.
The communication, however, noted that troops’ morale and fighting efficiency remain high.
Bandits have been perpetrating atrocities across the Nigerian North-west and Niger State in the North-central, defying a military onslaught targeted at flushing them out of their hideouts in forests across the regions.
Two days before the attack on the soldiers, bandits on Sunday massacred 63 vigilantes also in the state.