A bloody ambush in Niger State has left many dead in its wake. The incident which was first reported by the Nigerian Army on Thursday, had come into light after a distress call was put out by deployed troops; stating a mining site in Shiroro Local Government Area was under attack.

A shootout had ensued between the unknown gunmen and police officers; believed to be guards of the site situated at Ajata-Aboki in Gurmana Ward. The Army responded to the attack, being caught in the crossfire.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the unfortunate incident via a statement made in Abuja.

‘Enroute to the location, the troops ran into an ambush staged by the criminal elements. Sadly, a number of personnel paid the supreme price in the fierce firefight that ensued,” said Nwachukwu who did not give the specific number of security operatives killed by the outlaws.

‘Subsequently, the location has been reinforced and troops are on the trail of the criminals with some already neutralised. The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division has moved to the location to take charge of the follow-on operations.’

Locales explained that the gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles, took those at the site unaware by opening fire after arriving the site. Number of casualties remain unconfirmed; though sources claim seven police officers and six civilians were shot dead on the spot. About thirty other bodies were found in the bush; reported to be soldiers. These soldiers had attempted to repel the attack. Four persons of Chinese nationality were reported missing, as sources state they were abducted in the gruesome attack.

Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Army, Nwachukwu warned netizens to refrain from sharing clips pertaining to the ambush. He urged Nigerians to continue supporting the efforts of troops in the fight against terrorism.

‘The NA notes that some clips of the incident have surfaced online and wish to encourage well-meaning Nigerians to exercise some restraint in posting images of such occurrence, mindful that our brothers and sisters who may have lost their breadwinners deserve to be properly notified and not to get such information via the media.

‘We mention this, mindful of the inalienable rights of citizens to use the social media which is respected. It is also necessary to clarify that the activities of the criminals were not on any critical national asset or infrastructure.

‘Furthermore, the NA calls on all Nigerians to continue to support the efforts of their military personnel who continue to confront the enemies of our dear nation,’ he said.

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