The Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed the death of five people in a violent engagement between police and suspected bandits in the state.

The police in a statement said in collaboration with local hunters, they have killed four suspected bandits and kidnappers during gun battles in the Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi.

Unfortunately, the hoodlums killed one civilian, while four suspects were arrested in connection with the crime, with six kidnap victims rescued.

Ahmed Wakil, the command’s spokesman, said the operation was conducted on January 9, 2023, based on reliable intelligence that around 11pm a group of armed men attacked Dan village through Duguri District of Alkaleri LGA.

He said the gunmen stormed the residence of a 70-year-old man, Saleh Umar (aka Saleh Burga), and shot him dead.

Wakil said upon receiving the information, police operatives were drafted and immediately arrived at the scene. But the hoodlums took to their heels on sighting the police team. The victim was rushed to Gar Primary Health Care Centre, Bauchi, but was pronounced dead by a medical doctor.

Wakil said on December 10, 2023, policemen, in conjunction with locals, ambushed and neutralised two of the armed kidnappers, while the remaining suspects were subdued by the superior firepower of the operatives and forced to scamper in disarray into the nearest bushes with possible bullet wounds.

The police said on January 10, 2023, men attached to the command’s anti-kidnapping unit in Alkaleri, while on a routine patrol, in collaboration with hunters near Dajin Madam and Yankari forest, encountered a hut believed to be a kidnapper’s hideout.

He said a search was conducted at the suspicious hut where 22 rounds of 7×62.51mm NATO ammunition were recovered.

“During interrogation, all three suspects confessed to have partaken in several kidnapping activities around the Alkaleri axis.

“Also, around 2.30pm on January 7, 2023, following an intelligence report, a combined team of policemen in conjunction with local hunters, raided a kidnappers’ hideout near Mansur Forest,” the statement reads in part.

He said two of the bandits were neutralised and a fabricated SMG rifle, and three operational motorcycles (Honda Bajaj) recovered when police officers and some hunters raided a kidnappers hideout in Mansur Forest on January 7, 2023.