From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Rampaging bandits on Tuesday attacked some communities in two local government areas – Igabi and Chikun – Kaduna State, killing 18 persons.
Daily Sun learnt that nine persons were killed in each of the local government councils even as the bandits were believed to have been neutralised in several locations in the councils by troops.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement, confirmed the incident saying aside the deaths, some residents were abducted, many houses torched along with storehouses and barns, cows rustled with a number of poultry slaughtered and carted away. He also said an unspecified number of injured victims were receiving treatment in various hospitals.
He said in another incident, assailants killed one Maryam Lash Tahir in unusual circumstances at the Ministerial Pilot Housing Estate, Millennium City in Chikun Local Government Area.
Aruwan said: “Security agencies have reported a sequence of attacks by armed bandits on soft targets in Igabi and Chikun local government areas occurring over the last 48 hours. The attacks on these soft targets at Anaba and Barinje villages in Igabi and Chikun LGAs respectively, followed the killing of several armed bandits via targeted air operations.
“Air platforms had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village. The crew observed houses on fire and locals migrating to nearby settlements. Some motorbikes were observed with suspicious movements underneath some trees; probing shots were fired at these. Herds of cattle were spotted with bandits at Malul forest and were engaged accordingly.
“Also, air platforms conducted armed reconnaissance over some affected locations. Kawuri, Chikun, Godani, Kusasu, Godani Station, Kwafe, Kuduru, Irina, Chikwale, Kudame, Kwakwau, Beni, Akilbu, Polewire, Rijana, Rugu, Olam farms and adjoining areas were covered. Bandits in large numbers on motorcycles were sighted on a track leading to Kankomi. They were trailed and engaged by the crew, with scores seen neutralised afterwards. Similarly, following intelligence of bandits converging at forests in between Maidaro/Damari general area of Giwa/Birnin Gwari LGAs, armed reconnaissance was conducted over the locations, in conjunction with ground troops who conducted cordon-and-search operations in the area.
“A further mission was conducted over Gagafada, Birnin Gwari LGA. No suspicious activities were observed here. The scan was extended to Gwaska, Goron Dutse, Kuyanbana, Maidaro and Sabon Birni. Suspicious movements were sighted at Goron Dutse, the sources of which were promptly engaged and neutralised. Also at Kuyanbana, a long convoy of motorcycles was observed heading into the forest, which was likewise vigorously engaged and neutralised.
“The security agencies hereby appeal to the communities to report anyone found with suspicious bullet wounds to the security operatives. Regrettably, armed bandits attacked the loosely connected communities of Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi Local Government Area.
“The bandits reportedly emerged from the Buruku area, and raided the villages in a cattle rustling operation. In the process, one Danjuma Isa from neighboring Ungwan Kanti village was killed, as he made his way on foot to Kwarten Rigasa.
“Similarly, armed bandits invaded Sanhu Makera village, Birnin Yero, Igabi local government area and killed one Yakubu Abdullahi, a farmer in the village. Governor Nasir El-Rufai sent condolences to the families of all those killed in these attacks, while offering prayers for the repose of their souls. He also wished the injured a quick recovery.”