Ali Kachalla Terrorist Group Allegedly Responsible For Niger’s Mining Site Deadly Attacks

Barely 48 hours after the co-ordinated invasion and attacks at Ajata – Aboki in Gurmana and Erena Wards in Shiroro Local Government Areas of Niger State, on Wednesday, the dreaded Ali Kachalla terrorist group, with presence in Goron Dutse near Birnin Gwari LGA in Kaduna State, were suspected as being responsible for the Gurmana and Erena attacks that killed over 30 soldiers and mobile policemen.

The source added that the gang leader recruited some dreaded terror gangs controlling areas such as Unguwan Baushe, Akambu, Kanon Machi, and Unguwan Kumallo along the Birnin Gwari axis and moved through Jelako and Ga-gafada to cross the boundary communities into Niger state on the fateful Wednesday in broad daylight.

The source who chose to remain anonymous said the main purpose of the attacks on the mining site was to abduct the Chinese nationals whose company was involved in mining solid materials/precious stones for close to over two years at Ajata-Aboki, a largely mountainous area in Gurmana ward of Shiroro local government.

The source noted that the terrorists were armed to the teeth with military-grade artillery weapons including AA, GPMG, and RPGs on customised operational motorcycles and informed the villagers not to entertain fears in view of the fact that they were not the main target of the attacks.

“They arrived at the mining site late in the afternoon and engaged the security men guarding the expatriates, killing seven mobile policemen and six civilians while abducting three Chinese nationals.

A statement by Bar. Yusuf Kokki, co-convener of Concerned Shiroro Youths, said soldiers stationed in Erena, responded to a distress call and quickly mobilised men to the scene. The military personnel including some senior officers were said to have recorded casualties in the ensuing gunshots duel with the terrorist group.

The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Humanitarian Affairs, Hon. Emmanuel Umar confirmed the incident and commiserated with the leadership of the military over the death of its soldiers in the encounter.

He said many of the terrorists were also neutralized and security personnel who sustained varying degrees of gunshot wounds were rescued by their colleagues after reinforcement was made.

He said the manhunt for the terrorists was ongoing, urging the security personnel not to allow the terrorists to escape with their abducted victims.

The commissioner, however, said he cannot tentatively confirm the number of casualties from the military side, saying he was on his way to the “crime scene” at the time of filing this report

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Salis M. Sabo said a villager was gunned down by the terrorists when he refused to show them the way to the mining site when they approached him for assistance.

Giving an account of the incident, the association in the statement said “They (terrorists) grouped themselves into four; some wearing camouflaged uniforms of military, mobile police and some vigilante corps. They started to open fire sporadically after succeeding in kidnapping the expatriates.”

“At Unguwan Ma’aji under Erena Ward where the military had planned to ambush the terrorists being their most probable exit route, the military vehicle got stuck on the way due to the bad terrain which later exposed their plans to the terrorists.

“The military engaged the terrorists from around 4:00 pm till the early hours of the following day.

“This morning and as at the time of this report, 23 more bodies of the soldiers have been recovered. Many soldiers and mobile police have been declared missing,” he added.

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