The Kaduna State Government yesterday confirmed 19 people killed, with many others sustaining injuries following bandits’ attacks on communities in Birnin Gwari and Kajuru Local Government Areas of the state.
But eyewitnesses put the death toll at 24.
In a statement confirming the incident, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said 14 people were killed in the attack on Kutemeshi, while five others were killed in the attack on Kujeni village, Kajuru LGA.
He also said the bandits looted shops and burnt houses.
“On a sad note, the Kaduna State Government has received reports from security agencies of the killing of 19 citizens in Birnin Gwari and Kajuru Local Government Areas of Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
“The citizens were killed by armed bandits at Kutemeshi village in Birnin Gwari and Kujeni village in Kajuru, where several others were left with bullet wounds. Both attacks occurred on Saturday,” Aruwan said.
He listed those killed in the attack on Kutemeshi village to include: Malan Sani Barume, Yahaya Bello Amadu Dan Korau, Samaila Niga, Jamilu Haruna, Lawal Majiya, Dan Malam Rabo, Dauda Kafinta, Hassan Mai Makani. Bashir Haruna
Lawal Ali, Mu’azu Haruna Mai Unguwa Sa’adu and Harisu Bako.
“Some shops were also looted with valuable items carted away. Some of the injured have been moved to a neighboring state closer to Kutemeshi for urgent medical attention, while others are in transit to an orthopaedic hospital in Kaduna”, the commissioner said.
“So far, only the 14 corpses have been recovered from Kutemeshi,” he said, adding that the state government will provide updates on any emerging developments.
“In Kujeni village of Kajuru LGA, the attackers burnt several houses, storehouses with foodstuff, warehouses loaded with building materials and a church.
“The following citizens were killed: Bulus Jatau, Hanatu Emmanuel, Bitrus Tuna Yohanna Mika and Monday Ayuba, while those injured include Bulus Sambayi and Godwin Yakubu.”
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who has been monitoring the security situation at the locations since Saturday morning, expressed sadness over the attacks.
“The governor who condoled with families that lost their loved ones, offered prayers for the repose of their souls and a speedy recovery for the injured.
“He further directed the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency to urgently provide relief materials to the affected communities,” he added.
Aruwan stated that the government and security agencies are following up on yet another reported attack yesterday around Kikwari village of Kajuru LGA and will provide an update as soon as there is feedback.
However, one of the eyewitnesses told THISDAY that while a total of 19 people were said to have been killed in Kutemeshi village, in Birnin Gwari LGA, five others were killed in the attack on Kujeni village in Kajuru LGA.
A resident of Kutemeshi, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, told THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday that the attack, which occurred on Saturday at about 6 pm, lasted for about two hours.
He said the bandits were many and rode on motorcycles, with three people on each motorcycle.
“As soon as they arrived the village, they started shooting sporadically in all directions,” Mohammed said.
He said villages in the area, especially, communities bordering Zamfara and Katsina States were being frequently attacked by the bandits.
“The bandits came at 6pm and spent almost two hours in the village. They came in a very large number and they rode on motorcycles. Three people rode on each of the motorcycles.
“Residents of the community ran to the bushes for their dear lives. The bandits were well armed and they were just shooting sporadically all over the community.
“They killed 19 people and injured 13 others. Some people are still missing. The corpses of those killed were being prepared for burial this morning,” Mohammed added.