In an attack on a military base in Zamfara State, gunmen killed 12 security personnel….
According to AFP, the attackers stole firearms and set fire to residences, citing security sources.
It was not immediately apparent who carried out the Mutumji raid on Saturday, but the army is fighting armed criminal gangs known as bandits in Zamfara, who have been accused for a string of attacks.
In an attempt to disrupt bandit communications on army movements during the crackdown, telecommunications have been disrupted in Zamfara and parts of neighboring State Katsina.
According to one security source, the attackers stormed the base around 10:30 a.m. and engaged the troops in a fierce gun battle.
“They subdued the troops and killed 12 of them. They included nine navy, a soldier and two policemen.”
The deaths were confirmed by a second security source.
The army’s logistics and reconnaissance base in Mutumji, Dansadau district, roughly 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the state capital Gusau, is a critical site in the area’s struggle against bandits.
In Borno State, the epicenter of a 12-year insurgency that has killed 40,000 people, gunmen regularly target military bases.
However, in the northwest and central states, big, heavily armed criminal gangs that invade communities and kidnap for ransom have become more brazen.
In July, bandit gunmen shot down an air force jet over Zamfara while it was returning from operations.
The pilot was able to safely eject and evade arrest.
Last month, gunmen assaulted the country’s prestigious defence academy in northwest Kaduna State, killing two officers and kidnapped another in a raid on one of the armed services’ icons. (AFP)