Nigerian military kills 17 bandits, lost 3 soldiers in battle with bandits in Kastina
Nigerian Army on Monday said fighting between its troops and the Jihadist group in Kastina State left at least 20 people dead.
The military said the dead included three soldiers and 17 civilians which include suspected kidnappers, cattle rustlers, and bandits in the home state of President Mohammadu Buhari.
According to the defense headquarters spokesman, Benard Onyeuko, the battle between the military detachment in the state and the bandits took place on Saturday in the Jibia district of Katsina state.
The military spokesman, however, denied the news making the round that 23 soldiers were killed in the battle.
While Nigerian forces have battled an Islamist insurgency in the northeast of the country over the past decade, the northwest has struggled with a spiraling conflict between herders and crop farmers over grazing land. Islamist-militant groups have started infiltrating the northwest conflict, according to the International Crisis Group.
A faction of the Boko Haram militant group, known as Ansaru, is increasingly active in the region, forcing the military to deploy air attacks to destroy some of their camps in recent weeks, according to Yushau Shuaibu, an Abuja-based based security consultant.