Charles Nwoke, Zamfara, Nigeria
November 22, 2020
Above image credit: “Untitled” by DFAT photo library is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The unknown gunmen entered the community when worshippers had already gathered at the mosque for Juma’at prayers.
No fewer than 5 (five) worshippers lost their lives and many others were kidnapped during an attack on Friday congregational mosque in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State by unknown gunmen suspected to be bandits.
According to sources, the incident occurred at Dutsen Gari community of Kanoma District of Maru. Bandits wielding sophisticated weapons in their numbers, entered the community on motorcycles, shooting to scare and kill.
The attack took place, few days after Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle welcomed the deployment of over 2000 special police constabulary drafted to the state to reinforce security in vulnerable communities.
Residents said the gunmen entered the community when the congregants were at the mosque attending Juma’at prayer.
A source who pleaded anonymity for security reasons said the gangsters raided the mosque dispersing the worshippers and kidnapping over 40 persons including the Imam.
He said many of the residents fled to the bush with bullet wounds and later returned from their hiding before going for treatment after the gunmen had left with many other congregants.
”The gunmen, on their way to Dutsen Gari community, freely attacked neighboring communities, rustled livestock, and killed many before reaching our community unchallenged,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Police Command said the gunmen earlier disguised themselves as worshippers in the mosque and later scattered residents with gunshots killing five of them.
The police, however, said only 18 persons were kidnapped.
Muhammad Shehu, the Zamfara State Police PRO told reporters that two persons died instantly following the gunshots while three others died while receiving treatment in the hospital.
Police officers have been drafted to the area to trail the fleeing bandits, the spokesman added.
Zamfara is one of the North-west states bedeviled by repeated bandit attacks. Others include Kaduna and Katsina.
The gunmen kill people uncontrollably and kidnap many for ransom.