Niger to probe deadly military/civilian clash

THE Niger State government will set up a commission of inquiry into Thursday last week’s deadly clash between some military personnel and civilians in Bosso Local Government Area, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Nasara DanMalam, has said.

Several persons were killed in the clash between members of Kpaigna, Lagbe and Kopa communities and soldiers from 31 Field Artillery Brigade, Minna, during an operation to recover arms and ammunition alleged to have been stockpiled in parts of the communities.

DanMalam told journalists in Minna on Thursday that the decision was taken at the state executive council meeting on Wednesday to determine the immediate and remote causes of the clash.

The commissioner, who stated that the composition of the commission would soon be made public, expressed the commitment of the governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, to the restoration of peace and security in the affected communities and the state in general.

He said the governor was disturbed by the incident and had asked the commission to make recommendations as to how to prevent such a development from recurring.

Meanwhile, families of some of the victims of the clash wept on Wednesday as they removed the remains of their loved ones from the General Hospital, Minna.

As early as 7.00 a.m., sympathisers had besieged the hospital premises and watched as the decomposing bodies of the victims were being identified by their relations.

While no fewer than 10 bodies were removed from the mortuary section of the hospital, two others were said to have been recovered from a bush and buried on Wednesday.

One Mallam Tanko was said to remain missing as he was not among suspects released to the police by the Army on Wednesday.

The Nigerian Army had released 57 civilians to the police for further investigation. Fifteen of them were referred to the hospital to get treated for injuries they sustained during the clash.