BREAKING: Terrorists killed 29, leaving over 40 injured in Niger, Kaduna attacks
Terrorists went on the rampage in Niger and Kaduna communities at the weekend, killing no fewer than 29 people and burning houses.
The attacks occurred between Saturday and early Sunday.
In Niger, over 18 people were killed and 40 injured when terrorists invaded the Galadima Kogo community in Shiroro Local Government Area.
The attack began at about 5 pm on Saturday and lasted for hours.
Our correspondent learnt that the terrorists informed the villagers ahead of their coming.
Despite the notice, there was no security in Galadima Kogo, a resident said.
Many houses were razed and several cattle rustled.
A resident of Galadima Kogo, who was injured in the attack, told THE NATION on the phone that they informed security operatives about the impending attack.
The resident, who pleaded not to be named for fear of his safety, said they were shocked to learn that the operatives had left.
“What happened in our community was a promise fulfilled by the bandits. The terrorists had given a four-day notice before they attacked,” he said.
News of the attack spread on social media Saturday night.
A youth leader, Jubrin Allawa, said the terrorists had a field day because there was no security presence.
A group, the Concerned Shiroro Youths of Niger State, slammed the alleged withdrawal of security from the community.
In a statement by the co-conveners Sani Abubakar Kokki and Bello Ibrahim, the group said they found the bodies of 12 people.
“The decision taken by the government to withdraw the security personnel is reckless and insensitive.
“Considering how porous, prone to insecurity and vulnerable to deadly attacks by the rampaging terrorists Galadima Kogo is, one can easily conclude that the withdrawal of security personnel at that material time was a deliberate attempt to further jeopardise people’s lives and put them in the line,” the group said.
Our correspondent learnt that the bodies of 18 victims were brought to the Minna General Hospital late on Saturday night.
Many of the injured are receiving treatment at the hospital and the IBB Specialist Hospital in Minna.
Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Internal Security, Mr Emmanuel Umar, said only eight bodies were recovered.
He denied that the government withdrew soldiers from the community.
He said the operatives were on the routine operation and were moving from one community to the other.
In Kaduna, no fewer than 11 people were confirmed dead and several others were left with bullet wounds as gunmen attacked Kurmin Masara and Zaman Dabo villages in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area.
The villages came under attack early yesterday, with almost 40 houses ablaze.
A resident, who did not want to be named, said he hid as the attackers stormed his village at about 3 am, moving from house to house.
“We are yet to ascertain the actual number of those killed and injured by the attackers until we go round the community, but so far, I can confirm 16 dead. A boy of about five to six years was shot during the attack, he said.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement that 11 residents were confirmed dead.
The statement reads: “Security forces have reported to the Kaduna State Government that Kurmin Masara general area of Zangon Kataf LGA was attacked in the early hours of today (yesterday).
“According to the reports, troops of the Nigerian Air Force Special Forces who responded to distress calls from the area also fell into an ambush as they mobilised to the scene of the attack.
“The troops cleared the ambush and reached the general area, along with troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH).
“As of 4:30 pm, 11 residents were confirmed killed, and some inflicted with gunshot injuries.
“The victims confirmed killed are listed as follows: Elizabeth Ayuba, Veronica Auta, Bege Daniel, Kephas Waje, Promise Jacob, Damaris Istifanus, Hauwa Joshua, Dogara Gambo, Lidia Ishaya, Michael Achi and Gabriel Michael.
“Over 30 houses and properties were burnt in the attack. The injured were evacuated for treatment. Search-and-rescue operations and pursuit of the attackers are in progress on different fronts.
“The government of Kaduna State will make public further details as soon as they are received from security forces.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i, who has been in touch with the security forces and is receiving hourly briefings, expressed sadness at this report of the latest in a series of attacks in the area.
“He prayed for the repose of all those killed and conveyed his condolences to their families. He further wished the injured a speedy recovery.”