BY Adelani Adepegba

Bandits have reportedly killed three officers and 12 soldiers in an ambush in Faskari, Katsina State on Saturday.

Our correspondent gathered that 17 bandits were eliminated during the bloody exchange with the troops of 72 Para Battalion.

Bodies of the gallant troops were evacuated to the hospital in Katsina, pictures seen by The PUNCH on Sunday, indicated.

A source who was privy to the incident said, “The bandits attacked the troops of 72 Para Battalion while on patrol at Shimfida on Saturday. The ambush was bloody as the troops came under overwhelming firepower from the criminals. But the troops were able to resist the bandits killing 17 of them. Unfortunately, we lost 15 men comprising three officers and 12 soldiers.

But the Army said only three soldiers paid the supreme price during the incident, noting that 17 bandits were eliminated by the troops of Combat Team 1, Operation Sahel Sanity with the support of the Air Task Force.

The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Benard Onyeuko, in a statement on Sunday, explained that five AK47 rifles, three dane guns, two AK47 rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and seven motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.

“Regrettably, one brave officer and two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while four other soldiers were wounded in action. However, the wounded in action soldiers are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility,” he noted.

It further disclosed that troops conducting fighting patrol along Faskari – Sheme – Dandume road in Katsina State, equally arrested five suspected bandits including one female.

It said one of the suspects, Bashir Usman, who claimed to be a policeman during interrogation could not validate his claim with any form of identification. He was apprehended with one AK47 rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition while riding on a motorcycle. Other items recovered from him include one handset and N6,050.

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