John Shiklam in Kaduna
No fewer than 12 people have been killed by gunmen in Kidandan and Kadai villages in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
Several others were also said to have been injured in the attacks that took place on Friday morning and Saturday night.
A source in one of the communities said the bandits attacked Kidanda on Friday at about 11 a.m., killing three and injuring four others.
He said the attack on Kadai village took place on Saturday night.
The attack claimed nine lives while four others were critically injured.
He added that several houses, including vehicles and motorcycles, were burnt by the hoodlums.
Confirming the incident in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said the state government had condoled with the two communities over the incidents.
The statement added that the state government “prayed for the repose of the souls of victims who lost their lives, and also wished those that were injured a speedy recovery.”
Although the statement did give details of the casualties, it stated that some of the hoodlums were “neutralised“ during a gun duel with security operatives who repelled them.
The statement said: “The Kaduna State Government has condoled with Kadai and Kidandan communities of Giwa Local Government Area of the state, following attacks against innocent citizens by armed bandits.
“On Friday security operatives and local vigilante successfully repelled attempts by armed bandits to attack the Kidandan general area from a neighbouring state.
“The operatives and local vigilante in the Friday gun duel neutralised an unspecified number of the armed bandits, while many escaped with varying degrees of bullet wounds.”
According to the commissioner, “on Saturday, the armed bandits – who had lost a number of their ranks to the superior firepower of the security operatives – regrouped in the said neighbouring state and advanced towards the Kidandan general area.”
He said “Ground troops and police were mobilised while the Nigerian Air Force deployed a fighter jet to the general area for an immediate offensive against the horde of bandits.”
Aruwan said further that, “The simultaneous offensives were successful as many of the bandits were neutralised and many more incurred life-threatening injuries.
“It was while escaping from the superior firepower that some of the fleeing bandits carried out a reprisal attack on Kadai village, leading to loss of lives, and razing of houses, motorcycles, and vehicles in the village, besides the victims affected in Kidandan.”
The statement added that Governor Nasir el-Rufai, “after condoling with the communities, praised all security personnel and volunteers involved in the operation.
“He described their effort as a gallant act of sacrifice and deep patriotism in view of the steadfastness exhibited by the operatives and local vigilante.
“The governor also appealed to the security agencies to sustain the ongoing onslaught against armed bandits and other criminals engaged in nefarious activities.
“The governor has also gotten feedback that the ongoing operation will continue, as well as the deployment of troops and operatives to flashpoints in the counter banditry campaign.
“Similarly, the governor has directed the Commissioner in charge of liaising with security agencies to provide him with hourly briefings on the security situation.”