Bandits, on Sunday, invaded some communities in Munya and Paikoro local government areas of Niger State, killing two vigilantes, a middle-age man and injuring about 15 others.
Villagers in the area said the bandits who were about 200 in number targeted only foodstuffs during the raid.
It was gathered that about 15 women were also abducted and were made to help the bandits carry the looted foodstuffs from the communities.
The bandits were said to have promised to release the women after the foodstuffs have been taken to a particular location.
Communities invaded by the bandits include Beni, old and new Dalolo, Aboloso, Ishau and Amale, all in the Paikoro LGA, while Gwari Nyayi, Kabiri and Biri in Munya LGA were also raided.
Confirming the report, the District Head of Beni, Alhaji Jafaru Umar Sarki, said the operation started on Saturday evening when the armed men on 50 motorcycles stormed the communities in three different groups.
He added that the bandits returned on Sunday, sharing themselves into three groups, moving from one community to another targeting only foodstuffs.
According to him, for the three hours which the Sunday operation lasted, a helicopter owned by one of the security agencies was hovering over the communities while the bandits were operating on the ground.
He said, “We saw a helicopter moving around the communities for about six times when the bandits were operating but the helicopter did not attack them.
“Immediately the bandits finished the operation and left, we did not see the helicopter again, so we don’t know whether it was providing cover for the bandits or to attack them.”
He disclosed all calls made to relevant security agencies did not yield result, adding, “In fact, the Divisional Police Officer told me that they had no fuel in the car.”
The district head said the local vigilantes were on ground but their ammunitions got exhausted after over 30 minutes of gun exchange with the bandits, adding that they lost two men, but left the thieves with gun injuries.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) is yet to release a statement concerning the attack.