Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara says he is devastated as bandits killed 13 police officers on Sunday.
The bandits gunned down the policemen at a mobile camp in Kurar Mota in the Bagudu local government area of the state.
The governor’s reaction is contained in a statement by Yusuf Idris, his media aide.
The statement said Mr Matawalle expressed “devastation“ when he visited seven injured police officers receiving treatment at the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau.
“It was on receipt of the news of the unfortunate incident that the governor … immediately rushed to the hospital to sympathise with those currently receiving treatment at the facility.
“While lamenting the attack, Matawalle promised to partner other security agencies in the state to track down the attackers and all their sponsors and collaborators with a view to bringing them to justice.
“The police officers were ambushed at a mobile police camp set up as part of the measures taken by the government to fight bandits in the state.
“Matawalle, who was highly devastated by the sad incident, said the troops are doing very well at the war front … and had decimated the number of insurgents in the area,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the police command in the state has confirmed the killing of the 13 officers. The bandits injured seven others. Mohammed Shehu, the command’s spokesman, disclosed this in a separate statement issued on Sunday.
“The attack occurred on Sunday at about 1230hrs when mobile police operatives deployed at Kurar Mota Village were responding to a distress call with regards to an attempt by the bandits to attack some nearby communities.
“The police personnel, who ran into the ambush, exhibited resilience and gallantry by engaging the hoodlums, an effort that deterred the bandits from attacking the communities.
“Unfortunately, 13 personnel paid the supreme price. However, the bandits on their part suffered heavy casualties,” Mr Shehu said.
According to him, the command had launched a manhunt for the bandits.
“The Zamfara state police command has reaffirmed its commitment and determination to sustain its ongoing operation against the activities of recalcitrant bandits and other criminal elements in the state.
“A Special Anti-Banditry Operation is currently ongoing with a view to tracking down the assailants,” the statement explained.