At least 11 Nigerian troops have been killed in the country’s north central region after clashing with bandits.
According to the country’s military spokesman, the troops came under fire from gunmen during operations to confiscate illegal weapons in Niger State.
Among those killed were an officer, eight soldiers of the Nigerian Army and two airmen of the Nigeria Air Force.
The spokesman further added that another soldier remains missing while two more are wounded.
During the ambush, the assailants torched four military vehicles and vandalised two others.
This resulted to the death of eight gunmen and the arrest of 57 others.
The operation by the army to confiscate illegal weapons has been ongoing for a week. A cache of arms and ammunition have been recovered.
The assailants are suspected of supplying weapons to thieves and other criminals in central Nigeria.
An area suffers from frequent clashes between ethnic Fulani herdsmen and local farmers over grazing rights, leaving hundreds dead in recent months.