Suspected bandits have killed at least 18 people in a series of attacks in Giwa local government area of Kaduna state.
In a statement, Samuel Aruwan, the state commissioner for internal security and homes affairs, said the killings and counter-killings happened at Kaya community, which shares a boundary with Hayin Kaura village of Dandume local government area of Katsina state.
According to him, the attacks began on Friday, when many were celebrating the New Year. He said among those kidnapped were two married women.
“The violence began on the 1st of January, 2021 when armed bandits attacked Kaya town and kidnapped some locals including two married women,” he said.
“The bandits were fiercely pursued by a combined team of volunteers from Kaya, and from Hayin Kaura village of Katsina State, in keeping with their practice of supporting security efforts in their respective communities.
“The bandits in the course of the confrontation kidnapped and killed one Shamsu Umar, a leader of the Kaya volunteers. His corpse was found on the 2nd of January 2021 after a search operation in the forest.
“On the same day as the recovery of the corpse, unidentified persons came across some herders, and in apparent retaliation for the killing of Shamsu Umar, killed four of them, listed as follows: Musa Lawal, Ibrahim Sani, Haruna Umar, Idi Isah.”
He said around 6:30pm on Saturday, over 50 motorcycles each carrying three-men wielding AK-47 rifles, stormed Kaya town in Giwa local government and began shooting sporadically.
Troops of the Nigerian army and police operatives, he said, were quickly deployed to the location, along with an air platform of the Nigerian air force.
“Sadly, the following locals were killed: Hudu Shafiu, Madaro Madaki, Ibrahim Hamida, Ibrahim Mohammed, Maidoya, Kabiru Maitakalmi , Ibrahim Kayawa, Danladi Daiyabu, Zubairu Mailemu, Awwalu Yahaya, Audu Sarkar, Maharazu Adamu,” he said.
“Three other unidentified corpses were also recovered, said to be drivers in transit from Funtua, Katsina state.
“Similarly, the following persons sustained bullet wounds and are receiving medical attention at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Shika, Zaria: Mujahideen Muhammad , Suleiman Mustapha, Bashir Ibrahim, Sulaiman, Nuhu Idris, Alkassim Ismail, Nafi’u Sirajo, Musa Magaji, Muhammad Salisu Kaya, Musa Ibrahim.”
The commissioner said shops and vehicles were also burnt by the attackers.
On Saturday, gunmen had also killed Danleeman Isah, the chief Imam of Kawaran Rafi in Igabi local government area of the state, who had always spoken against insecurity.