Fear Grips Residents As Terrorists Kill Four Policemen, 28 Farmers in Katsina

Francis Sardauna in Katsina 

Fear has gripped residents of Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State following the killing of four policemen and 28 farmers in Yar Goje, Gidan Boka and Dan Nakwabo villages of the local government by suspected terrorists.

The simultaneous attacks, which occurred on Sunday, also claimed the lives of two members of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps, leaving dozens of villagers, mostly women and children, with varying degrees of injuries.

A government official in the area, who craved anonymity, told THISDAY on Tuesday that the terrorists, armed with sophisticated weapons, also ambushed a police Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) which was responding to a distress call.

He said: “These criminals attacked Yar Goje, Gidan Boka and Dan Nakwabo villages last Sunday. They killed 28 local farmers including children, four police officers and two personnel of the Katsina Community Watch Corps. Survivors of the attack had fled the affected areas to Kankara town.

“Heavy artillery sounds and sporadic gunshots were heard throughout the day with the continuation of isolated shooting in the wee hours of Monday. As we speak, many injured people are still in Kankara General Hospital.”

He lamented that Nigerian soldiers and other security personnel were stationed in Kankara town while the terrorists continued to wreak havoc on remote farming communities in the local government.

He called on the state and federal governments to deploy adequate number of troops to many remote areas and block the routes used by the marauding terrorists to carry out raids on remote settlements.

But the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abubakar Aliyu, while confirming the incident, said the hoodlums killed four policemen, two members of the Katsina Community Watch Corps and 20 other people during the attack.

Aliyu, in a statement issued to journalists Monday night, said the policemen and members of the Katsina Watch Corps were killed in an ambush on the police Armoured Personnel Carrier by the hooligans while responding to a distress call.

He said: “The fact of the case is that on the same date, at about 1500 hrs, a distress call was received at the Kankara Divisional Headquarters that armed bandits in their numbers riding on motorcycles armed with dangerous weapons, shooting sporadically, attacked Gidan Baki village, Kankara LGA, killing unsuspecting villagers.

“Immediately, the nearest armoured personnel carrier (APC) patrol team was dispatched to the scene. While en route to Gidan Baki village, the team discovered that the attack was actually on Gidan Boka village via Yar Goje village, Kankara LGA, where they quickly redirected towards the scene. Upon reaching Kurmeji village via Yar Goje, the team fell into an ambush, where a firefight ensued between the team and the bandits.

“Upon receipt of the information on the attack of the responding team, swiftly the DPO mobilised and led a team of operatives to the scene and restored normalcy. During preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the armed bandits attacked Gidan Boka village, killing fifteen (15) people and injuring two (2) others. 

“They also ambushed our patrol team and killed four (4) police officers (three (3) inspectors and one (1) corporal and two (2) members of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps (KSCWC). Also, the bandits, while escaping through Dan Nakwabo village, Kankara LGA, shot and killed five (5) persons. Further development will be communicated as the investigation proceeds.”

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