By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has confirmed the killing of 66 people in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
The government in a statement on Friday by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said among the victims were 22 children and 12 women, adding that four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies were receiving medical attention.
He said security agencies had been deployed to the area, while some arrests had been made.
The statement did not give details of how the incident took place, but it was learnt that the killings occurred following a bloody clash between the Adara and Fulani communities in the area.
Sources said the problem started on Sunday night when gunmen suspected to be Fulani invaded Angwan Barde, an Adara community killed 11 people, with several others injured.
On Monday, angry youths in the community were said to have embarked on reprisal attacks, leading to the bloodshed.
Arunwan said security agencies had recovered 66 bodies.
“Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements on various dispersed hamlets in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru LGA,” the statement said.
According to Aruwan, the communities affected include “Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.”
The statement condemned the attacks and commiserated with the families of the victims.
The government urged community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies.
“The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.
“Residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the security agencies in person or through the following lines 09034000060 and 08170189999”, the statement said.