At least 36 Nigerian soldiers killed by bandits in ambush, helicopter crash

At least 36 Nigerian soldiers killed by bandits in ambush, helicopter crash

Investigation still underway to determine cause of crash, says official

By Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu

KANO, Nigeria (AA) — At least 36 Nigerian military personnel were killed in attacks by bandits earlier this week, authorities said Thursday.

The casualties include three officers and 22 soldiers killed in an ambush Monday in the northern state of Niger, said Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, the director of defense media operations at the Nigerian Defence Headquarters.

Noting that seven other soldiers were injured, he said, "insurgents had ambushed troops in the Zungeru area."

Hours after the attack, a Nigerian Air Force MI-171 helicopter that arrived at the scene to rescue the casualties crashed in the Shiroro local government area of the state, causing further casualties.

Buba said investigations are still underway to determine the cause of the crash.

Banditry and terrorist attacks have been on the rise in Nigeria, despite government promises to tackle the challenge.

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