The Nigerian police say 16 of their officers were shot dead in Zamfara State following a clash with cattle rustlers in Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of the state on Thursday.
A statement from the police said they had rescued 20 police officers from cattle rustlers and killed 104 thieves.
The statement, issued by Zamfara State Police Spokesperson SP Mohammed Shehu, to journalists on Tuesday night added that security forces also destroyed three camps of the bandits and recovered more than 500 cattle and 79 goats.
“Three helicopters have been sent to launch attacks on cattle rustlers and other armed robbers to dismantle their activities.
“We have also deployed more police officers in Zamfara State,” the statement said.
The incident took place on Thursday evening, while special police forces were patrolling in the forests of Zamfara State to track down cattle rustlers and kidnappers who have terrorized many parts of the state.
The police forces have also arrested more than 85 suspected criminals in the state.
The statement said about 80 firearms and ammunition were recovered from the bandits.
As a result of the ambush, the Nigeria Police has appointed the Deputy Inspector General of Police as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Special Forces. The commander’s main task is to restore peace throughout Zamfara.
Cattle rustlers news – More facts about Zamfara State:
- 67.5 percent live in poverty
- Literacy: 54.7 percent
- Occupation: Farming is the source of income for many in Zamfara
- Most of the people of the state are farmers, are of Hausa Fulani
- Population: 4.5 million (2016 Census)
- Muslims are the majority
- The state first Launched Sharia law in 2000