2 soldiers, 7 miners feared dead in gun battle over discovery of N70m gold nuggets in Katsina
Two soldiers of the Nigerian Army and seven illegal miners have died after clash over huge gold nuggets at Magama, a border village in Jibiya Local Government Area of Katsina State.
According to Daily Nigerian, the clash occurred on Wednesday around 6pm after discovery of huge gold nuggets in one of the open-pit mines dug by the artisanal miners.
The illegal miners numbering over 40 were reported to have paid the soldiers the soldiers the sum of N500,000 per pit before they were allowed to start the mining.
“When the soldiers saw the huge nuggets the miners discovered, they insisted that it be shared equally with them,” an insider who survived the clash said.
“When the miners insisted that they will not part with the nuggets or pay more — apart from the N2.5million they paid for the five pits — the soldiers started shooting the air.
“The scared miners, 27 of whom had guns, also replied the fire, and then exchange of direct gunfire began. The soldiers lost two men, while miners lost seven men in the clash.
“The mining ring leaders were able to successfully ran away with the nuggets, valued in conservative estimate at N70million, in their vehicle.”