Francis Sardauna in Katsina
No fewer than 18 worshippers were abducted by gunmen suspected to be terrorists on Saturday evening in a mosque in Maigamji village in Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The ward head, Sani Idris, who confirmed the attack to THISDAY in a telephone interview on Sunday, said the terrorists stormed the mosque when the victims were observing evening prayers at about 7:40pm.
He explained that the terrorists shot and wounded the Chief Imam, Malam Yusha’u Adamu, who was leading the prayers and Husseni Jamo during the attack before abducting the victims who were taken to adjoining forests in the area.
He said: “We were observing Issahi (Muslim evening prayers) when the terrorists armed with sophisticated weapons surrounded our mosque on Saturday evening and started shooting sporadically. When we noticed their presence we started running to different directions.
“They injured our chief Imam, Malam Yusha’u Adamu, and one other worshipper called Husseni Jamo. They had earlier abducted 18 worshippers, but so far, four have returned and 14 are still with them (terrorists).”
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, while confirming the incident to journalists, said police operatives have rescued six out of the abductees, adding that efforts were on to rescue the remaining captives.
Isah said: “It is true the attack took place. The terrorists stormed the mosque at Maigamji while people were observing Issaih prayers.They shot and injured the Imam and one other person.
“Those injured are currently responding to treatment in a hospital. The terrorists also abducted some worshippers that night, but a combined team of the police and the vigilante rescued two of the victims that night.
“The security operatives also rescued four other victims on Sunday, making a total of six victims who have been rescued so far. Presently, 13 victims are still in the custody of the terrorists and our operatives are making serious efforts to ensure that they are rescued without any injury.”