A policeman and seven members of the vigilante group have been killed by gunmen in Kusherki Community in Rafi local government area of Niger state.
The gunmen were said to have laid ambush for the security operatives rushing to the village after receiving distress calls that it had been invaded by gunmen.
The gunmen and security agencies exchanged gunfire that lasted for three hours which resulted to the death of the policeman.
Policemen were said to have received a distress call that some gunmen stormed Lamba Waya village at Pandogari to rustle cows, prompting the deployment of a combined team of the Police Civil Defence and Vigilante group to track down the rustlers.
Witnesses said that the gunmen escaped with the rustled cattle, leaving seven vigilantes and one policeman dead.
The Niger state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Muhammad Abubakar confirmed the incident.
He said that some of the cattle rustlers were also badly injured and a combined team of the Police Civil Defence and Vigilante group has been drafted to the area with a view to apprehending the culprits.
DSP Muhammad Dan Inna alleged that some of the cattle rustlers were killed while others sustained various degrees of injuries as a result of gunfire.
“Our men are following the blood trails and combing the areas as we speak, ” he explained.