By John Shiklam
No fewer than 18 people have been killed and many others abducted following attacks by bandits on communities in Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, in a statement yesterday in Kaduna, said the attacks took place in the last 48 hours, during which many houses were burnt, about 20 cows rustled and some poultry carted away.
According to the statement, nine people were killed in each of the attacked LGAs.
The statement, however, added that dozens of the bandits were killed in several locations by the troops.
Aruwan said in Igabi LGA, seven people were killed in Anaba village while one two people were killed in Angwan Kanti and Sanhu Makera villages.
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.
“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,” the statement added.
It said air platforms of the military had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village.
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,” he said.
According to him, 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 neutralised afterwards.”
“Following intelligence of bandits converging on 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,” he stated.
He said the military operation was also conducted over Gagafada, Birnin Gwari LGA and no suspicious activities were observed.
He said 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 neutralised.
“At Kuyanbana, a long convoy of motorcycles was observed heading into the forest, which was likewise vigorously engaged and neutralised.
“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 area,” Aruwan said.
He added that 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,” he said.
Aruwan stated that in another incident, unknown assailants killed one Maryam Lash Tahir at the Ministerial Pilot Housing Estate, Millennium City, Chikun local government area.