ABUJA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Police authorities in Nigeria have confirmed 16 policemen were killed following a gunfight with armed bandits in the northwestern state of Zamfara late last month.
In a statement reaching Xinhua on Thursday, the police said 20 other policemen, who were earlier declared missing after the gunfight on Nov. 29, have been rescued.
The statement issued by Mohammed Shehu, spokesman for the police in Zamfara, said 16 bodies of policemen were recovered following a search and rescue operation ordered by the national police chief.
The gunfight ensued in an operation to rout out the armed bandits from Mahanga forest which served as a large training camp for them in Zamfara.
Mahanga forest is a settlement, surrounded by appealing green vegetation in Nigeria's northwest region.
However, for decades, the forest had epitomized danger and commonly referred to as the headquarters of bandits, who often launch attacks on local herdsmen, farmers, and their communities.