Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Terrorists have killed no fewer than 44 vigilantes in an ambush while on distress call in Gidan Gamji Village, Danmaidaki Ward of Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Locals had reported at the vigilante office in Bakori that some terrorists attacked the residence of one Muntari and rustled unspecified numbers of domestic animals, a development which prompted the victims to trace the hoodlums to Gidan Gambo Village in Kankara.
Unknown to the slain vigilantes, residents said, some terrorists’ informants in communities bordering Bakori and Kankara local governments alerted them that the vigilantes were tracing them, the development that led to their ambush by the terrorists.
A resident of Kankara, Abba Usman, told THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday that the terrorists operated concurrently between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in several villages of the two local governments.
He said: “They (terrorists) attacked the residence of one Muntari in Bakori town last Wednesday night and rustled hundreds of his domestic animals. Following the development, some local vigilantes organised themselves the next day (Thursday) and traced the terrorists to Gidan Gamji Village where they engaged them in a gun battle.
“Sadly, the terrorists killed 44 of them (vigilantes) and injured many others who are currently receiving treatment at different hospitals in Bakori and Kankara. As we speak, we recovered 44 dead bodies so far and search parties, including soldiers and policemen are in the forest searching for more bodies.”
But the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, while confirming the incident to journalists in a statement, said those killed were members of the outlawed Yansakai (volunteers) group from 11 villages in Bakori Local Government.
He said: “On Wednesday, 1/02/2023 at about 2200hrs, terrorists in their numbers, shooting sporadically with AK-47 rifles, attacked the house of one Alhaji Muntari, at Unguwar Audu Gare, Kandarawa, Bakori LGA, and rustled fifty (50) cows and thirty (30) sheep.
“Subsequently, on Thursday, 2/02/2023, at about 10:00hrs, Yansakai outlawed group, from eleven (11) villages from Bakori LGA, regrouped and went after the terrorists with a view to recovering the rustled domestic animals. They traced the footpath of the hoodlums to a location at Yargoje Forest.
“Unfortunately, the terrorists planned and launched a coordinated ambush on the Yansakai. The hoodlums shot and killed forty-one (41) Yansakai and wounded two (2).
“Area Commander, Malumfashi, led a team of Policemen to the scene and recovered the corpses and injured to Kankara General Hospital. A joint security operation is currently ongoing with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book. Investigation is ongoing, please”.
Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Bello Masari has directed for the inauguration of a panel of inquiry in order to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incident to enable the government to take precautionary measures.
Masari’s Special Adviser on Security Matter, Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed Katsina, who disclosed this while briefing journalists on the incident, said the state government would also distribute relief materials to families of the victims.
He, however, explained that many terrorists were among those killed during the fierce gun duel battle between security personnel and the marauding terrorists, urging residents to remain calm.