By John Shiklam
Eighteen people have been killed, while several others were abducted following attacks by bandits on communities in Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Aruwan said the attacks took place in the last 48 hours, adding that many houses were burnt, while about 20 cows were rustled and a number of poultry slaughtered and carted away.
According to the statement, nine people were killed in each of the two affected local government areas.
The statement however said dozens of the bandits were equally neutralised in several locations by troops.
Aruwan said in Igabi LGA, seven people were killed in Anaba village, while two people were killed in Angwan Kanti and Sanhu Makera villages.
He said in Chikun LGA, eight people were killed in Barinje village, while one person was killed at the ministerial pilot Housing Estate – Millennium City, at the outskirts of Kaduna.
The statement said: “Some residents were abducted and cattle rustled during the attacks.
“An unspecified number of injured victims are receiving treatment in 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.”
According to the commissioner, “Air platforms had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village.”
Narrating the activities of troops in fighting the bandits, Aruwan said: “The (Nigerian Air Force) 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.”
He stated that 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,” it said.
The statement also said that bandits in large numbers on motorcycles were sighted on a track leading to Kankomi, adding that “they were trailed and engaged by the crew, with scores seen neutralized afterwards”.
The commissioner said: “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.
“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.
“Regrettably, armed bandits attacked the loosely connected communities of Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi Local Government aArea.”
He said 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.
“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,” the commissioner said.
He said the governor commended the Air Force crews “for their vigorous response and successful missions which saw the extermination of many bandits”.