Armed bandits yesterday stormed Kunkilai village in Magami District, Gusau Local Government area of Zamfara State, killing at least 20 people and sacking more than 20 communities. The incident led to a fresh combat between some soldiers and the armed bandits, which left at least four soldiers injured. The bandits who were reportedly in large numbers and armed with sophisticated weapons had earlier sacked the communities before engaging the soldiers, who were on rescue operations. A resident of Kunkilai village who narrowly escaped the attack told Saturday Telegraph that the gangsters besieged the village around 10:00am yesterday and shot sporadically into the air. According to him, the bandits numbering over 100 penetrated into the village on motorcycles, aiming innocent people while repelling attacks from the soldiers.
“We managed to inform the army to deploy their men from Magami Base and before they came, the dreaded hoodlums killed 20 of our people on the spot while over 15 persons sustained injury. He said, during the en-counter with military, four soldiers were injured and had been taken to Gusau for urgent medication, stressing that more than 20 neighboring villages were sacked by the bandits during the attack. “As I am talking to you now, hundreds of people have relocated to Magami town, running for their dear lives as a result of the bandits’ nefarious attacks between yesterday and today”, said the eyewitness.
When contacted the Police Public Relations Officer of the state Command, SP Mohammed Shehu, did not pick his call, and there had been no response from the police as at the time of filing this report. However, the Acting Force Information Officer (Operation Sharan Daji) in Zamfara State, Major Clement K. Abiade, confirmed the attack, saying only four soldiers sustained injuries and were quickly evacuated taken to Federal Medical Centre, Gusau for treatment. According to him, on getting the report of the bandits attack on the village, the soldiers on their way to the village got ambushed by the bandits, adding that the army in their experience fought back and repelled the attack.
This is coming on the heels of attacks on villages in Katsina State, mostly in the frontline local governments bordering Zamfara State and the Rugu forest, which had been witnessing attacks and counter attacks. Hoodlums had stormed the area on Thursday killing many while burning and carting away household items and animals. More than 30 people were recently killed by the bandits in four villages within the last 48 hours. Only Thursday night a group of armed bandits in their hundreds raided the village of Dagwarwa in Safana Local Government killing many people and abducted others along with their animals. Reports say the bandits, who arrived in their hundreds on motorcycles entered Dagwarwa and shot sporadically in the community, before the army stationed in the area chased them, killing many of them. In the said attack, the bandits were said to have laid ambush on some soldiers and opened fire on them, as a result burnt one of the Army vehicles and opened fire on the rest of the vehicles.
However, as at the time of filing this report there had been no official statement from the authorities concerned. When the Saturday Telegraph contacted the PPRO of Katsina Police Command, he said the report had not reached them yet, saying it was only the DPO in Safana that could respond on the matter. In a related development, a Katsina lawmaker representing Batsari, Safana and Danmusa Federal Constituency, Hon. Ahmed Dayyabu Safana, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state-of-emergency in his constituency, saying that the rate of killings and kidnappings in Katsina has become so alarming that it deserves urgent attention.
He said some villages within his constituency had been serially attacked with many people killed by armed bandits. In a motion sponsored by the lawmaker, Safana urged the Federal Government to intervene in the ongoing killings of innocent persons, destruction of property, armed robbery and kidnappings by heavily armed bandits operating within the federal constituency. According to Safana, the recent attacks on members of his constituency has reached an alarming stage, adding that the perpetrators of this act continuously kill innocent persons, set their homes ablaze while defenceless men and women are abducted to unknown destination. He lamented that in the 48 hours, four villages within this constituency had been attacked, recalling that the kidnapped head of Buhari’s district in Daura is still in the hands of his abductors.
The News Telegraph