Five people were feared killed in a clash between soldiers and villagers at Kpaidna village near Beji of Bosso local government area of Niger state.
The number of people injured could not be ascertained, but Daily Trust learnt that four vehicles were destroyed while the crisis lasted. Sources said the incident occurred about 1 am yesterday when the villagers, mistaking the soldiers in an operation for armed Fulani herders, opened fire on them, leading to violent exchanges that led to the death of the five people. An officer and two soldiers are reportedly missing.
Daily Trust learnt that a clash between herders and villagers in Barkuta, a community close to where the current incident happened resulted in the death of villagers recently, while a reprisal led to the demise of three herders.
Both the deputy governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso and the commissioner of information, culture and tourism, Jonathan Vatsa, who were on hand to access the situation, were prevented from entering the community. Vatsa told Daily Trust on phone that he could not get into the village because of strong presence of the military.
The Niger State Police Public Relation Officer Bala Elkana confirmed the incident, saying, “About 1 am we received a report that armed men were attacking Kpaidna village but when we arrived we discovered that they were soldiers in operation.”
He said they gathered that the villagers mistook the soldiers for Fulani herders camouflaging in military uniform to attack the village.
The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Major Njideka Agwu, said, “We heard there were arms and ammunition in that village and we went for cordon and search after soldiers were briefed yesterday. Unfortunately, villagers opened fire on us and we don’t know the number of casualty for now because the information is sketchy, but investigation is still on.”