TOPSHOT - A member of the Nigerian Armed Forces Sniper Unit wearing a ghillie suit takes part in an exercise during the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) military demonstration held at General Ao Azazi barracks in Gwagwalada on April 17, 2018. - The African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) is a weeklong seminar held in Nigeria, bringing together land forces from across Africa to discuss and develop cooperative solutions and improve transregional security and stability. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A member of the Nigerian Armed Forces Sniper Unit wearing a ghillie suit takes part in an exercise during the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) military demonstration held at General Ao Azazi barracks in Gwagwalada on April 17, 2018. - The African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) is a weeklong seminar held in Nigeria, bringing together land forces from across Africa to discuss and develop cooperative solutions and improve transregional security and stability. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Three government troops and 17 gunmen were killed in an encounter in Jibia, Katsina state, in northern Nigeria over the weekend, military spokesman Bernard Onyeuko has confirmed.

Members of Combat Team 1, with air support, on Saturday captured a “notorious bandits’ stronghold,” known as Dangote camp, deep in the forest in Jibia area, the spokesman said in a statement reaching Xinhua late Sunday.

Initial resistance by the gunmen was subdued by the troops, resulting in heavy casualty on the gunmen, according to the spokesman.

“At the end of the encounter, 17 bandits were neutralized while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as evident by the trails of blood along their escape routes,” Onyeuko said.

He said one officer and two soldiers were killed while four other soldiers were wounded in action.

Weapons, ammunition and motorcycles were also captured from the fleeing gunmen, Onyeuko said.

Northern Nigeria has witnessed a series of gunmen attacks in recent months, leading to deaths of troops and civilians.

Security forces are engaged in several operations in that part of the country to root out illegal armed groups. Enditem

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