By Emmanuel Nduka
Boko Haram insurgents have killed at least 17 security personnel and abducted four Chinese expatriates as they moved to seize the power station in Shiroro, one of Nigeria’s electricity facility in Niget State.
According to government officials and local sources, the attack which occurred on Wednesday evening, left the community devastated as residents fled the area in droves, in order to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
The sources say at least 17 soldiers and police officers were killed, while four Chinese workers were seized during the assault by the insurgents.
Reacting in a statement, the state government said reinforcement was dispatched to the scene, but no further details could be provided as of Thursday morning.
Ajata Aboki Village where the incident occurred in Shiroro Local Government Area is about 200 kilometres northwest of the Nigerian capital Abuja.
Boko Haram fighters have made repeated attempts to seize the facility, which contributes about 620 megawatts to the national electricity grid, since last year.
“The Boko Haram terrorists tried to take over Shiroro station again and on their way they met resistance from our men and left many of them killed,” a security source told Peoples Gazette by telephone on Thursday morning, fearing that casualties may rise from the violence.
“We have been receiving reports that the situation might be worse than we know right now,” the source added.