Over 50 bandits have been shot dead in a massive gun battle with the police, soldiers, vigilantes and hunters in Taraba State, Northeast Nigeria.
The gun battle occurred on Friday at Tonti village in Maihula District, Bali Local Government Area.
Spokesperson of the Taraba Police Command, Abdullahi Usman, in a statement, said the Command received information that some unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in their hundreds invaded Tonti village, Maihula District Bali Local Government Area.
He said the bandits invaded the village around 5:30 am during the time that the Muslim faithful were observing their morning prayers, and started shooting sporadically.
“On receipt of information, the Commissioner of Police Taraba State Police Command, Joseph Eribo ordered the deployment of a Tactical team from Bali Division to the area in collaboration with the Army, Vigilante, and hunters.
“On arriving at the village, the bandits engaged the joint team in a gun duel. In the process many of the bandits were subdued and neutralised due to the firing power of the operatives, others escaped with various degrees of injuries as a result of gunshots.
“Investigation revealed that over fifty (50) bandits were neutralised. Meanwhile, a manhunt is presently sustained in the area with the view to arrest the fleeing bandits,” he said.
Usman said the Police Command has deployed a special striking force to the area for robust patrol and to stem the tide to avoid the escalation of such attacks by the bandits to another village around the area.
He added that the Commissioner has assured the citizens of the State of his commitment to ensuring that their lives and property were protected and the peaceful co-existence Taraba State is known for is restored to pave the way for meaningful development.