Armed bandits have reportedly overrun a Nigerian military base in Zamfara, marking a major setback in the ongoing effort to curb their activities in the Northwest region.
This comes amid reports that contrary to initial reports, there is no ongoing bombardment of bandits’ camps in the state by the army.
The bandits were said to have struck a forward operating base in Mutumji, Dansadau, about 80 kilometres south of the capital Gusau, at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to Peoples Gazette, quoting military sources.
Officials immediately confirmed 12 fatalities, comprising nine Nigerian Air Force officers, two police officers and one Nigerian Army soldier. It was not immediately clear the level of fire that the soldiers returned to prevent the base from being sacked, the medium reported.
All slain personnel were evacuated to Yerima Bakura Specialist Hospital in Gusau and the three wounded have been receiving treatments at a brigade medical facility, officials said.
The attackers also seized weapons from the killed service members and set ablaze other equipment in the facility.
The number of security forces manning the base was not immediately clear. The base has served as a crucial point operation for logistics and reconnaissance efforts to rout out bandits operating between eastern flank of Zamfara and western Katsina.
The Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force did not return separate requests seeking comments about the development from The Gazette on Sunday night.