Agaju Madugba, Katsina
At Least, 30 persons including four security personnel, have been reportedly killed by gunmen suspected to be bandits at Diskiru village in Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The attack occurred in the early hours of yesterday when bandits invaded the community, killed and abducted residents.
Some of the survivors suggested that the incident might be a reprisal over an earlier invasion in which the villagers inflicted injuries on the bandits.
But Katsina State Police Command confirmed that 17 persons were killed including four members of the vigilance group.
“Last week, bandits came and they didn’t find it easy with the villagers because about three of the bandits were killed.
“So, they went, regrouped and came back, over 200 of them on motorbikes, each carrying AK-47 rifle; they even came 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 learnt about the situation and called for reinforcement from the military, Operation Sahel Sanity.
“Based on the intelligence we had, we learnt 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 laid a seige. The hoodlums ran into the siege.
“But unfortunately, they came in their numbers and got into a gun duel with our men, 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. The report I have was that so many of them were killed by the fighter jets,” Isah said.
Another source from the village said “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 days ago.
“They were armed with sophisticated weapons, and they stormed the village on motorcycles and began shooting sporadically.
“Some of the villagers fled into the bush and neighbouring farmlands. When the gunmen began 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. 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, there are 25 bodies, and we heard that more than five bodies have been discovered while dozens were injured.
“Security were alerted about the attack and they later came and fought back the gunmen, but it seems there were casualties from both sides.”
The source noted that an unspecified number of residents including married women and young girls were abducted by the gunmen who also set several houses ablaze in the course of the attack.