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    24 gunned down as killings rise in Kaduna, Niger

    The Kaduna State Government says the attacks by gunmen on Zaman Dabo Village in the Atyap Chiefdom of Zango-Kataf Local Government Area of the State in the early hours of Sunday claimed 11 lives while over 30 houses were razed.

    This is just as over a dozen persons were reportedly killed and others injured during an attack on Galadima Kogo Community in Niger State on Saturday.

    The state Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the Kaduna incident, said as of 4.30pm, no fewer than 11 residents of the area had died.

    It was learnt that gunmen, at about 3am on Sunday, stormed Atak Mawai ward in Zaman Dabo Village in the Atyap Chiefdom of Zango-Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State and killed no fewer than 10 persons.

    However, the commissioner, in a statement titled, “Eleven confirmed killed, others injured in Zangon Kataf LGA,’ said security operatives overseeing the southern part of the state said 11 people were killed while others were injured.

    Aruwan identified the victims as Elizabeth Ayuba, Veronica Auta, Bege Daniel, Kephas Waje, Promise Jacob and Damaris Istifanus.

    Others, according to him, are Hauwa Joshua, Dogara Gambo, Lidia Ishaya, Michael Achi and Gabriel Michael.

    He said, “Security forces have reported to the Kaduna State Government that Kurmin Masara general area of Zangon Kataf LGA was attacked in the early hours of today.

    “According to the reports, troops of the Nigerian Air Force Special Forces who responded to distress calls from the area also fell into an ambush as they mobilised to the scene of the attack.

    “The troops cleared the ambush and reached the general area, along with troops of Operation Safe Haven.

    “As of 4.30pm, 11 residents were confirmed killed, and some inflicted with gunshot injuries.

    “Over 30 houses and properties were burnt in the attack.

    “The injured were evacuated for treatment. Search-and-rescue operations and pursuit of the attackers are in progress on different fronts.

    “The Government of Kaduna State will make public further details as soon as they are received from security forces.”

    The commissioner quoted Governor Nasir El-Rufai to have expressed sadness over the latest attack in the area.

    “He (the governor) prayed for the repose of all those killed and conveyed his condolences to their families. He further wished the injured a speedy recovery,” the statement added.

    Over a dozen persons were said to have been killed and several others injured as suspected terrorists believed to be members of the Islamic State West Africa Province attacked Galadima Kogo community in Niger State on Saturday afternoon.

    The Co-convener of the Concerned Youths of Niger State, Sani Kokki, in a statement made available to our correspondent in Minna on Sunday, said the terrorists came into the village in a convoy of motorcycles, shooting sporadically.

    He however blamed the attack on the withdrawal of security operatives from the community.

    The statement read, “Over a dozen of people were gruesomely killed and scores of others were as well injured through multiple gunshots.

    “Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, rampaging hydra-headed, venomous, murderous and heartless terrorists well-armed with assorted sophisticated weapons stormed Galadima Kogo, Shiroro Local Government Area, Niger State in broad daylight and unleashed mayhem on their victims at sight, including unsuspecting innocent and unarmed members of the community.

    “The terrorists believed to be elements of Islamic State West Africa Province stormed the community in their large number on motorcycles in a convoy and went straight to security outfit stationed in the town.”

    According to Kokki, the terrorists burnt down houses and rustled cattle that had been recovered by a team of vigilance group members.

    “During the deadly invasion, the dreaded criminals set many houses ablaze, including other valuables, while carting away many herds of cattle that were recovered by vigilante in their previous encounters with criminals after being rustled,” he added.

    Kokki blamed the attack on the withdrawal of security operatives from the community adding that the terrorists must have been informed by their informants that the security personnel have been withdrawn.

    “Feelers are however pointing accusing fingers at bad elements and informants within the midst of people who had probably secretly informed the daredevils about the partial withdrawal of security personnel previously stationed in the town; whom based on our credible and thorough findings have been relocated to Kontagora axis for reinforcement,” he added.

    He condemned the withdrawal of security personnel from the community, describing the decision as reckless and insensitive.

    “This decision taken by government, notwithstanding the accompanying reason, is reckless and insensitive in its entirety, especially to the plights of innocent and unarmed law-abiding citizens already ravaged by incessant insecurity.

    “Considering how porous, prone to insecurity and vulnerable to deadly attacks by the rampaging hydra-headed, venomous murderous and heartless terrorists, Galadima Kogo is, one can easily conclude that, withdrawal of security personnel at this material time is a deliberate attempt to further jeopardise people’s lives and put them in the line,” he added.

    Copyright PUNCH.

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