Troops of the Nigerian Army on Monday successfully repelled an attack by bandits along the Kaduna-Zaria highway.
However, two villagers and a traveller were killed by the armed gunmen during the encounter with the troops of 4Demo Battalion in some locations around Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.
The incident was confirmed in a statement on Monday evening by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan.
Aruwan added that the troops acted based on credible intelligence on the movement of the bandits and moved to ambush the criminals.
He said: “Troops of the 4Demo Battalion, Nigerian Army, have reported to the Kaduna State Government that armed bandits were repelled in some locations along the Kaduna-Zaria highway, in Igabi local government area.
“The bandits were reportedly sighted moving towards the highway from Sharu village in the Kerawa area. The troops, acting on credible intelligence on the bandits’ movement, laid an ambush and intercepted them at Lambar Zango and Hawan Kwaranza villages.
“At these locations, the bandits were engaged in a fierce firefight, and suffered several casualties.
“The bandits, having been decisively halted by the troops on these fronts, retreated hastily via another route and in the process attacked Dunki village, where they killed two residents: Abubakar Sani and Abubakar Saleh.
“An unidentified male traveler was also killed.
“The retreating bandits also raided Mashashiya and Farguza villages, from where they stole some livestock and other valuables.
“Receiving the reports, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condoled the families of those killed by the retreating bandits, and prayed for the repose of their souls.
“The Governor thanked the troops for their quick response in thwarting the bandits’ attempted attacks on various soft targets in the area.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with the new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Major-General Farouk Yahaya at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, was also at the meeting at Aso Rock.
Naija News reports that Yahaya replaces Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a military plane crash in Kaduna last Friday.