Few hours after Zamfara Governor, Bello Matawalle claimed bandits were pleading for fresh amnesty deals, gunmen attacked a military base in the state, killing no fewer than 12 officers and injuring others.
It was gathered that the bandits attacked the Forward Operating Base in Mutumji, Dansadau Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
The military base is about 80 kilometres south of the capital, Gusau.
It was learnt that the 12 fatalities comprise nine Nigerian Air Force officers, two police officers, and one Nigerian Army personnel.
The gunmen also seized weapons from the slain service members and set ablaze equipment in the facility.
The incident comes amid heightened offensive by the military in Zamfara state.
Many of the bandit leaders and their foot soldiers were said to have been killed since the recent shutdown of communication services and restriction of movement in the state.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had last week mandated all telecommunication operators in the country to suspend operations in Zamfara, effective Friday, September 3, 2021.
This was barely six months after the Nigerian government declared Zamfara State a ‘no-fly zone’ in a renewed effort to fight banditry and other forms of insecurity in the state.
“They (bandits) sent a powerful committee to plead with us to cease fire and allow supply (of food and other essential commodities) but I refused,” said the governor who spoke in Hausa. “What we are doing to bandits is to send them to God, so they can answer their questions,” Governor Matawalle said on Friday after attending the Jumat prayer at the Dalala Mosque in Gusau, the state capital.