By John Shiklam
Eighteen people have been killed following an attack and counter-attack between bandits and residents of Kaya village, Fatika District in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Shops and vehicles were also set ablaze during the incident, which occurred on Saturday night.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incident in a statement yesterday in Kaduna.
Aruwan said military and other security agencies informed the state government that lives were lost in a series of killings and counter-killings in the local government.
“The killings and counter-killings occurred at Kaya community, which shares a boundary with Hayin Kaura village of Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State,” he said.
Aruwan explained that security briefings indicated that the violence began on January 1, 2021 when armed bandits attacked Kaya town and kidnapped some locals, including two married women.
“The bandits were fiercely pursued by a combined team of volunteers from Kaya and from Hayin Kaura village of Katsina State, in keeping with their practice of supporting security efforts in their respective communities.
“The bandits in the course of the confrontation kidnapped and killed one Shamsu Umar, a leader of the Kaya volunteers.
“His corpse was found on the 2nd of January, 2021 after a search operation in the forest.
“On the same day of the recovery of the corpse, unidentified persons came across some herders, and in apparent retaliation for the killing of Shamsu Umar, killed four of them, listed as follows: Musa Lawal, Ibrahim Sani, Haruna Umar and Idi Isah.
“At around 6:30p.m yesterday (Saturday), January 2, 2021, over 50 motorcycles, each carrying three-men wielding AK-47 rifles, stormed Kaya town in Giwa LGA and began shooting sporadically,” he added.
He said soldiers and policemen were deployed in the location, with an air support from the Nigerian Air Force, to deal with the bandits.
Aruwan said 11 residents were killed while three unidentified corpses, said to be drivers in transit, from Funtua, Katsina State, were also recovered.
Aruwan added that nine people who sustained injuries from gunshots were taken to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria.
The statement said, after the attack, security agencies confirmed that shops, five vehicles and some motorcycles were burnt by the hoodlums.
He said the state Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who was involved in coordinating responses to the attack on Saturday night, had condoled with the bereaved families.
“As he has repeatedly done, the governor appealed earnestly for recourse to the law as the main solution to the violence, killings and counter-killings by aggrieved groups and individuals.
“The governor expressed deep concern, and tasked security agencies to carry out extensive investigations into the circumstances leading to the killings,” the statement said.