At least 30 Nigerian soldiers were killed in an ambush after armed men attacked a mine in Shiroro district, Niger state last week, three sources reported on Saturday.
The dead were among the security forces deployed to search for the miners, including 4 Chinese who were said to have been kidnapped during Wednesday’s attack.
Emmanuel Umar, the commissioner for state security in northwestern Niger, initially said an unknown number of people had been killed during the mine attack in Ajata Aboki village.
Two army sources in Shiroro and Minna, the capital of Niger state, mentioned today that when the security forces came out in response to the report of the attack, the armed men set up an ambush and opened fire, killing 30 soldiers who were traveling in 3 trucks.
President Muhammadu Buhari described the gunmen as “sadists” who would be found and punished. “Shiroro will see justice,” he said in a Twitter post on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack in the country, where armed men are known to carry out attacks on villages.
Local officials pointed out last year that suspected Boko Haram militants had established a presence in Shiroro.