The Kaduna State government has confirmed the killing of 18 persons in two local government areas of the state in the last 48 hours.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, nine people were killed in both Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas of Kaduna State by armed bandits.
Apart from the people killed, the statement added that many houses were burnt down while animals including cows and poultry birds were also rustled.
Aruwan said the bandits attacked the villages as a retaliation for some of their members that were earlier killed in airstrikes by the military.
The statement noted that: “Security agencies have reported a sequence of attacks by armed bandits on soft targets in Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas occurring over the last 48 hours.
“According to the reports, Anaba Village in Igabi Local Government Area was attacked with seven residents killed.
“Many of the houses in the community were burnt down, along with storehouses and barns. About 20 cows were rustled and some poultry slaughtered and carted away.
“Also, Barinje village in Chikun Local Government Area was attacked, with eight persons killed.
“Some residents were abducted, and cattle rustled during the attack. An unspecified number of injured victims are receiving treatment in the hospital.
“The attacks on these soft targets at Anaba and Barinje villages in Igabi and Chikun LGAs respectively followed the killing of several armed bandits via targeted air operations.
“Air platforms had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village. The crew observed houses on fire and locals migrating to nearby settlements. Some motorbikes were observed with suspicious movements underneath some trees; probing shots were fired at these.
“Herds of cattle were spotted with bandits at Malul Forest and were engaged accordingly.”
“Also, air platforms conducted armed reconnaissance over some affected locations. Kawuri, Chikun, Godani, Kusasu, Godani Station, Kwafe, Kuduru, Irina, Chikwale, Kudame, Kwakwau, Beni, Akilbu, Polewire, Rijana, Rugu, Olam farms and adjoining areas were covered.
“Bandits in large numbers on motorcycles were sighted on a track leading to Kankomi. They were trailed and engaged by the crew, with scores seen neutralized afterwards.
“Similarly, following intelligence of bandits converging at forests in between Maidaro/Damari general area of Giwa/Birnin Gwari LGAs, armed reconnaissance was conducted over the locations, in conjunction with ground troops who conducted cordon-and-search operations in the area.
“A further mission was conducted over Gagafada, Birnin Gwari LGA. No suspicious activities were observed here. The scan was extended to Gwaska, Goron Dutse, Kuyanbana, Maidaro and Sabon Birni.
“Suspicious movements were sighted at Goron Dutse, the sources of which were promptly engaged and neutralized. Also at Kuyanbana, a long convoy of motorcycles was observed heading into the forest, which was likewise vigorously engaged and neutralized.
“The security agencies hereby appeal to the communities to report anyone found with suspicious bullet wounds to the Security Operations”.
Aruwan further added, “Regrettably, armed bandits attacked the loosely connected communities of Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi local government area.
“The bandits reportedly emerged from the Buruku area and raided the villages in a cattle rustling operation. In the process, one Danjuma Isa from neighbouring Ungwan Kanti village was killed, as he made his way on foot to Kwarten Rigasa.
“Similarly, armed bandits invaded Sanhu Makera village, Birnin Yero, Igabi local government area and killed one Yakubu Abdullahi, a farmer in the village.
“In another incident, unknown assailants killed one Maryam Lash Tahir in unusual circumstances, at the Ministerial Pilot Housing Estate, Millennium City, Chikun local government area.”
The commissioner also added that the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai is saddened by the developments and has sent condolence messages to the families of those killed in the attack and wishes those injured speedy recoveries.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai noted the reports with sadness, and sent condolences to the families of all those killed in these attacks while offering prayers for the repose of their souls. He also wished the injured a quick recovery,” he said.