Terrorists killed 17 soldiers in an attack at a military base in Polwire, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, The PUNCH learnt.
A source told our correspondent that 40 wounded soldiers were taken to the 44 Army Reference Hospital facility, including 17 of them (soldiers) confirmed to have been killed by the terrorists.
The source said, “17 soldiers were actually killed in the attack carried out by the suspected terrorists.
“40 fatally wounded soldiers were brought in to the 44 Army Reference Hospital from where 17 of them were confirmed dead.”
According to the source, during the attack where the bloodthirsty terrorists in large number on motorcycles stormed and engaged the soldiers at the military base at Polwire village, more than 20 other soldiers were injured.
He said the AK-47 rifle-wielding bandits, riding on motorcycles, engaged the soldiers and battled them for more than two hours before the terrorists eventually subdued them (soldiers).
The terrorists, it was learnt, razed an Armoured Personnel Carrier after they had overwhelmed the troops.
They were said to have made away with weapons belonging to the soldiers.
Another source also told our correspondent that the casualty figure on the side of the military might be more while adding that three civilians were killed.
“Two of the civilians were members of a vigilante group while one was a traveller,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Birnin Gwari Emirate Progressive Union, Ishaq Kasai, who also confirmed the death of three members of a vigilante group, added that the attack took place on Sunday around 3pm.
He added that the terrorists, suspected to be members of the Ansaru, were believed to be coming from Niger State when they attacked the military base.
Kasai, however, noted that normalcy has gradually returned to Birnin Gwari that had since been under intense attack.
“When we heard, we had to run and seek refuge elsewhere. Most of the residents slept outside Birnin Gwari town,” he added.
He noted that the security situation in Birnin Gwari was getting out of hand, calling on the government to take urgent steps to address the situation.
He added, “The security situation is becoming increasingly alarming whereby a large portion of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area is now at the mercy of marauding bandits who usually roll into towns and villages in convoys of motorcycles mostly riding three on each, brandishing AK-47, killing and abducting people, including women and children.
“BEPU noted that the bandits usually spend hours operating with impunity and unleashing terror especially in rural communities.
“The bandits also placed taxes on various communities and keep coming back repeatedly to attack them because of the absence of law enforcement agents.
“It is not only tragic but also shameful that these ragtag bandits on motorcycles wielding AK-47 can roam most communities in the area with impunity, killing and abducting peaceful, helpless innocent citizens in a nation that seems to have standing Armed Forces and the Police.”
As of the time of filing the report, there was no confirmation from the police, Army and the state government.