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In Zamfara, police find 16 killed officers

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THE Nigeria Police yesterday confirmed that 16 officers in its ranks were killed on November 29 following a clash between Police Joint Task Force (PJTF) and bandits in Zurmi Local Government Area Zamfara State.

The slain officers were felled during a raid on criminal hideouts in the locality during which exchange of gunfire ensued with hoodlums numbering over 100 bandits killed and 50 criminal hideouts destroyed while 500 cattle and 79 sheep were recovered.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Zamfara State Police Command, Supol Muhammad Shehu, confirmed the death of the policemen in a statement in Gusau to debunk media reports that 50 policemen were killed in the attack, stressing that out of 36 policemen that got missing after the attack, 16 of them were later found dead while 20 returned alive.

“After search and rescue operations embarked on by police Joint Intervention Force to rescue the missing policemen following the heavy attack on the bandits, 16 police officers were found dead while the remaining 20 were rescued alive. Over 50 bandits’ hideouts in three camps had earlier been destroyed while over 500 cattle and 79 sheep were recovered from the bandits,” Shehu said.

The statement expressed the Inspector General’s condolences to families of the deceased policemen, noting that he had ordered befitting burials for the gallant officers and the prompt processing and payments of their life assurance benefits and other entitlements.

It will be recalled that Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, had earlier claimed only one policeman was killed, Shehu’s casualty toll of 16 has discredited Moshood’s account.

Following the bloody encounter with the bandits, Deputy Inspector-General in Charge of Operations, Habila Joshiak, was redeployed to take over command of the operation.

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