The police in Zamfara State have confirmed an attack by bandits on Shinkafi town in the early hours of Friday but said the attack was “proactively repelled” by police and military operatives stationed in the town.
The police spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, said this on Sunday in a statement he issued to debunk a report by Daily Trust newspaper that the bandits raided a police station in the town.
Mr Shehu said the security operatives repelled the bandits and inflicted heavy casualties on them. He said no death was recorded on the part of the security forces and inhabitants of the town.
“Contrary to a misleading report on Page 8 of the Daily Trust Newspaper of Saturday 25th September 2021, that “Bandits attack Police stations, Shinkafi town”, the Zamfara State Police Command wishes to debunk the entire report and authoritatively state that there was no attack on any police station in Shinkafi LGA or any part of Zamfara state as wrongly reported.”
“What happened was that in the early hours of Friday, 24th September 2021, armed bandits in their large numbers attempted to attack Shinkafi, but were proactively repelled by the joint Police and Military operatives stationed in the town, with heavy casualties suffered by the bandits.
“No loss of life either from the security forces or the Inhabitants. Similarly, nobody was abducted. The security situation in the town is very calm, with members of the community going about their legitimate business while new security measures are being enforced effectively.
“The Command is further surprised at the level at which a reputable Newspaper like the Daily Trust published such a sensitive security report without proper confirmation from the Police or any constituted authority, when their correspondent was in Gusau.
“Members of the press as well as the general public are enjoined to desist from airing fake and unsubstantiated stories. Instead, they should verify any information that comes their way before going on air,” the police spokesperson said.
Verification of the claims by the police has been made difficult by the cut off of telecommunications and travel restrictions in the state.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has cut service networks in Zamfara and parts of Katsina and Sokoto States, at the requests of the state governments to help security operations against banditry in the states.
States in northwestern Nigeria have been experiencing attacks by bandits, resulting in killings, kidnappings for ransom and destruction of farms and crops storage facilities in rural communities.
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