SaharaReporters has just received information from students living in Birnin Gwari town in Kaduna State to the effect that heavily armed bandits took over the Police Station in the area and burnt it down after about two hours of gun battle with troops.
The police station was completely razed in an attack that started at midnight, according to the source.
Banks and other public buildings were reportedly bombed along with the Police Station.
The source who claimed to have witnessed the attack said the bandits also planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that exploded simultaneously in addition to sporadic gun shots.
The source also said that the whole area was sealed by the unidentified gunmen whose number could not be ascertained because of they came in the dark. Several police officers and some of the bandits are believed to have died in the attack which lasted about two hours.
“We are trapped, and under fear, we need military support to, if not there is no certainty on our lives. As I speak, they are still firing”, he said.
In October, 2012, bandits invaded the town killing some 20 worshippers leaving a Mosque in an early morning raid in the area.
Calls made to spokespersons of the army and police were not returned as at the time of this report.
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UPDATE: We have learnt that Governor Muktar Yero of Kaduna State has rushed this morning to Birnin Gwari town, the scene of yesterday’s brazen, five-hour operation by a group of armed bandits.
“The governor is still in town now,” a security source said.
Another source disclosed that the additional police contingent was not able to enter the town until the early hours of today. “The armed bandits operated for four, even five hours without any serious police challenge,” said the source.
News of the attacks was first received from students living in the town of Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State's Birnin Gwari local government area.
The attackers completely razed the police station in the attack that started at midnight, according to the source.
ECO Bank, Unity Bank, and First Bank branches in the town as well as other public buildings were also attacked and bombed along with the police station, according to one elderly witness. The source said the attackers appeared to use explosives in breaking into the banks.
The source said the bandits were part of a group of armed robbers believed to be hiding out in a nearby forest. He disclosed that, prior to yesterday’s attacks, the bandits had launched assaults in several villages and districts including Kuyelo and Randagi on Friday and Tuesday respectively.
Last night’s attacks were not the first in the town’s recent history. In October, 2012, armed bandits invaded the town and killed some 20 worshippers leaving a mosque.