from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AN undisclosed number of soldiers and suspected bandits have been killed during a battle in northewest Nigeria.
Members of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) engaged in the battle with the militants in the Kaduna State.
Officials said the bandits numbered over 100.
“The gallant troops were able to fight their way through the ambush killing dozens of bandits in the process,” Air Vice Marshall Ibinkule Daramola, NAF spokesman, said.
“Unfortunately, some NAF personnel paid the supreme price during the operation, while a few others sustained varying degrees of injuries,” Daramola added.
The injured personnel were at the time of going to press receiving treatment at the NAF Hospital in Kaduna.
Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), paid tribute to the deceased officers.
“He (Amao) has urged all NAF personnel to remain resolute and continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, to rid the northwest of all criminal elements,” Daramola said.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest country by population (over 206 million people), is also among the most volatile in the continent.
Besides the bandits in the northwest, there is the Islamist Boko Haram terrorising communities northeast of the country.
Deadly clashes between farmers and pastoralists over land are frequent in the West African country.
– CAJ News