Three persons have been confirmed killed with no fewer than 300 others declared missing as bandits stormed Wuro Bokki village of Sindirde Ward, in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The bandits stormed the area on military camouflage with motorcycles in the late hours of Saturday
Chairman of Gassol Local Government Area, Musa Abdullahi, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Sunday via a telephone conversation.
He said the armed men also set eleven houses ablaze with properties worth millions of naira destroyed during the operation before returning to their hideouts.
Musa also confirmed that the bandits have camps in a forest between Sindirde and Gassol wards of the local government area.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Usman, also confirmed the incident stressing that the Commissioner of Police has given a matching order to flush out the bandits in collaboration with sister security agencies.
Meanwhile, efforts are in top gear to douse the already created tension in the affected and neighbouring communities, he added.
Before now, rumours of hoodlums taking refuge within forests in the area had filtered in without any confirmation from security agencies.
A source from the area who preferred anonymity disclosed that the bandits were said to be those fleeing the sustained onslaught against banditry in Zamfara State where they were said to have engaged local vigilante groups in gun duel before they settled at the said forest.
According to the source, it is unclear if the armed vigilante groups who engaged them got any backing from conventional security agencies as none of them could disclose what they discovered when they laid siege at the forests.
Gassol Local Government Area is the hometown of the state’s Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu, and a haven for investors in rice cultivation and harvesting.