Charles Nwoke, Katsina, Nigeria.
Above image courtesy of local news services.
Unknown gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed about 30 persons including children and security personnel at Diskiru village of Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State.
It was gathered that the attack occurred in the early hours of Thursday when unidentified armed men invaded the community and went on a sporadic shooting and abducted some residents.
Some of the survivors thought that the attack might be a reprisal attack over an earlier incident in which the villagers inflicted injuries on the bandits.
The Katsina State police command confirmed that a total of 17 persons were killed including the security personnel, among them, four members of the vigilance group from the area.
According to Isah, “yes, the bandits attacked a village called Diskiru in Dandume Local Government Area, and it was a reprisal attack.
“Last week, the bandits came and they didn’t find it easy with the villagers, because about three of the bandits were killed.
“So they went and regrouped and came back, they returned, over 200 of them on motorbikes, each carrying AK-47 rifle; they even went with a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).
“They killed as many as they could; they killed 12 of the villagers and set many houses ablaze.
“The DPO learned about the situation and he called for reinforcement from the military, Operation Sahel Sanity.
“Based on the intelligence report that we had, we learned that the bandits were going to pass through a cattle route that went into Faskari Local Government Area.
“So we alerted the officers there and they laid a siege and the hoodlums ran into the siege.
“But unfortunately, they came in their numbers and got into a gun duel with our men, then forced themselves to pass through the ambush.
“As a result of that, one of our security personnel lost his life and four of the vigilantes were killed by the bandits.
“Reinforcement from the Airforce was sought and they came and followed after the bandits.
“The report I have here with me was that so many of them were killed by the fighter jets, Isah said.
However, a source from the Dandume village said on Thursday afternoon that, “the bandits were many and were on a revenge mission because three of them were killed by the villagers when they attacked a few days ago.
“They were armed with sophisticated weapons, and they stormed the village on motorcycles and began shooting sporadically.
“Some of the villagers fled their homes into the bush and neighboring farmlands, and when the gunmen began to search from house to house, they noticed that the able-bodied residents were nowhere to be found.
“They became infuriated and began killing the elderly and small children who were unable to escape, and several people lost their lives and many others were injured in the process.
“Initially, there were 12 bodies, but some other bodies were later discovered in the forest and farmland areas.
“As I speak with you now, there are 25 bodies, and we already heard that more than five bodies have been discovered, while dozens were injured.
“Security was alerted about the attack, and they later came and fought back the gunmen, but it seems there were casualties from both sides.”
According to the news source, an unspecified number of residents were abducted by the gunmen, including married women and young girls, and that homes were also set ablaze in the course of the attack.