Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Gunmen suspected to be terrorists have massacred no fewer than 22 farmers in Gidan-Goga community in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
A top government source in the state who confirmed the incident to THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday night, said the terrorists killed the farmers while working on their farms.
He explained that the farmers were working on their farms at different locations in the community when the terrorists surfaced suddenly and started shooting at anyone in sight.
He said: “They (terrorists) attacked the farmers with sophisticated weapons riding on motorcycles when they were cultivating their farmlands last Wednesday with the intention of abducting some of them.
“But having realised that the farmers started running helter skelter, they began to shoot them one after the other and as I am talking to you now, we have 22 bodies who were brutally killed by the terrorists.”
The source reiterated that some villagers, who were angry over the incident, mobilised and confronted the suspected terrorists but couldn’t avail, leading to some villagers sustaining varying gunshot injuries.
He said dozens of residents of the community, especially women and children, have fled their ancestral homes to nearby communities and towns perceived to be safe in the state.
The source, however, claimed that the terrorists have promised to launch another onslaught on the community.
He added that: “Therefore, we are calling on all authorities concerned, especially the security agencies, to come to our aide as quickly as possible before the thing goes out of hand.”
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yazid Abubakar, while confirming the incident to journalists, said the terrorists killed nine people and injured five others.
He said the command had deployed the combined anti-terrorists team to the community and normalcy had been restored in the area.