At least three soldiers and seven civilians died on Friday as soldiers and some residents of Kpaidna community in Niger state clashed.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the problem stated when the community refused soldiers entrance to their homes to carry ammunition they kept to defend themselves from possible Fulani Herdsmen attack, a menace that has been common in the region in recent times.
A report by Major Njideka Agwu, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 31 Artillery Brigade, Minna, also disclosed that soldiers got intelligence report that there were caches of arms and ammunition in the area and went on a cordon and search operation.
According to him, the incident occurred at 2.00 a.m. on Friday in the community located in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.
“The 31 Artillery Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Minna, was on a joint operation with the Nigeria Air Force Quick Response Group in the area when we were attacked by the villagers.
“We were on a cordon and search operation in the village because we got intelligence report that there were caches of arms and ammunition in the area. During the operation, three soldiers and seven civilians lost their lives, while 57 villagers were arrested by the joint operation.
“Trouble started when some of the villagers denied the military access to their houses to enable soldiers search for arms and ammunition believed to be stockpiled there. During the clash, six operation vehicles belonging to the army were destroyed by the villagers; four were set ablaze while two were vandalised.’’
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkanah, who confirmed the incident which he described as “purely military matter,’’ said were not involved in the incident.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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