From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Rampaging armed bandits on Tuesday attacked communities, killing 18 persons across two local government areas of Igabi and Chikun Council Areas of Kaduna State.
Nine were killed in Igabi and another in Chikun local government areas, respectively.
Dozens of bandits were, however, believed to have been neutralised in in the areas by the troops.
A statement by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel 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.
‘According to the reports, Anaba village in Igabi local government area was attacked, with seven residents killed.
‘Many of the houses in the community were burnt down, along with storehouses and barns. About 20 cows were rustled and a number of poultry slaughtered and carted away.
‘Also, Barinje village in Chikun local government area was attacked, with eight persons killed.
‘Some residents were abducted, and cattle rustled during the attack. An unspecified number of injured victims are receiving treatment in hospital,’the statement read.
It continued: ‘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 paltforms 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 neutralized 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 neutralized. Also at Kuyanbana, a long convoy of motorcycles was observed heading into the forest, which was likewise vigorously engaged and neutralized.
‘The security agencies hereby appeal to the communities to report anyone found with suspicious bullet wounds to the Security Operations.’
Aruwan added: ‘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.
‘In another incident, unknown assailants killed one Maryam Lash Tahir in unusual circumstances, at the Ministerial Pilot Housing Estate, Millennium City, Chikun local government area.’
The Internal Security Commissioner also added: ‘Governor Nasir El-Rufai noted the reports with sadness, and 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.
‘The governor went on to commend the crews for their vigorous response and successful missions which saw the extermination of many bandits”.