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Six soldiers killed during an operation against bandits in Nigeria

Six soldiers killed during an operation against bandits in Shiroro district   -  
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Nigeria’s military said six soldiers were killed in an ambush in the centre of the country on Friday where the army is fighting armed criminal gangs.

In a statement on Sunday, it said the troops were attacked while on a “fighting patrol” in Shiroro district in Niger state, which lead to a gunfight.

Two other soldiers were wounded in the incident.

The largely rural Shiroro area is a known enclave of bandit leader Dogo Gide, who has forged an alliance with Islamic State-linked jihadists.

Nigeria’s military is fighting criminal gangs in the region who raid villages, kill and abduct residents for ransom, and loot and burn homes.

Though driven by financial gain, there are concerns among officials and analysts about their growing ties with jihadists who have waged an insurgency in the north-east for the past 15 years.

The army says its troops are pursuing some of the gunmen who escaped after other gang members were killed by soldiers and their equipment captured.

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