In a significant breakthrough in the relentless fight against banditry, over 50 suspected bandits were neutralised in an operation carried out by the Taraba State Police Command in collaboration with other security agencies.
The operation, which occurred in the Bali Local Government Area of the State, was prompted by an outcry from locals about the activities of the armed gunmen.
According to Abdullahi Usman, the spokesperson for the Taraba State Police Command, the coordinated effort followed intelligence that hundreds of unknown gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers, had invaded Tonti village under Maihula District, Bali LGA.
The invasion took place at approximately 5:30 am while Muslim faithful were engaged in their morning prayers, with the assailants firing shots indiscriminately.
“Taraba State Police Command received information that some unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in their hundreds invaded Tonti village under Maihula District Bali LGA Taraba. The bandits invaded the village around 5:30hrs during the time that the Muslim faithful were saying their morning prayers, and started shooting sporadically,” he revealed.
“On receipt of information, the Commissioner of Police Taraba State Police Command Joseph Eribo ordered the deployment of a tactical team from Bali Division to the area in collaboration with the Army, vigilantes, and hunters. On arriving at the village, the bandits engaged the joint team in a gun duel.
“In the process, many of the bandits were subdued and neutralised due to the firing power of the operatives and others escaped with various degrees of injuries as a result of gunshots. Investigation revealed that over fifty of the bandits were neutralised,” he added.