The Moment (London)

4 November 2011

Nigeria: Kaduna Boils, As Gunmen Kill Women in Church

Kaduna — KADUNA State is under tension over fears of reprisal attack, following the murder of two Christian women worshippers inside a church by unknown gunmen.

The attack by the gunmen also left 11 critically injured in Zonkwa village in Zangon Kataf Local Government in the state. The women were said to have gone for vigil.

The Moment learnt that the injured have since been taken to Saint Louis Hospital in Zonkwa, while the deceased were taken to the mortuary.

The Interim Caretaker Chairman of Zangon Kattaf LG, Dominic Yahaya, confirmed the attack in a text message to The Moment.

He said: 'An attack took place at Tabak near Zonkwa on the way to Madakiya at 11:45pm.

People mostly, women and children were attacked inside a church while holding night vigil prayers.

'Thirteen people were shot and two women died, while 11 others have been admitted at Saint Louis hospital, Zonkwa, the attackers escaped into the bush.'

However, the situation has set youths in the area on rampage. They were said to have started burning tyres and barricading roads to protest the incessant incidents in the full glare of the security men whom they accused of perpetrating the attacks in the area.

Some of the youths appealed for the overhaul of the security operations of the area, where they said "the soldiers posted to provide security have become nuisance to the area.

'We strongly suspecting them to be responsible for the attack just to create tension in the state and continue to justify their stay in the area.'

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ballah Magaji Nassarawa, who also confirmed the incident on phone, said he was on his way to the scene of the incidence, together with the Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, to assess the situation.

He, however, said report reaching him from the security men on ground indicated that the situation has been brought under control.

In a swift reaction, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemned the incident just as it expressed worry over the continued spate of attack, especially on churches in spite of the heavy security presence in the state.

In a statement signed by the Kaduna State Secretary, Yunusa Madu, and made available to The Moment, the Christian body said: 'CAN Kaduna State condemns the manner the last night's attack was carried out on innocent Christian worshipers in the church.

'Indeed, the troubles of Kaduna have taken their senseless killings to the doorsteps of God and this is very dangerous for us as a state.

'We are worried that in spite of the heavy presence of soldiers in the area, this kind of attack can still be carried out.

'Information reaching me from the Local CAN in Zonkwa confirmed that sophisticated raffles were used.

'We call on the government of Kaduna State to ensure that the perpetrators of this evil act are fished out and brought to book. Meanwhile, we call on all Christians to be calm and prayerful in the face of this new dimension of attack on the church, 'CAN affirmed.

The National Secretary of the Jama'atu Nasril, JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar, did not respond to text message sent to him.

When our correspondent called his number after one hour, the GSM phone was switched off.

The state Chairman of JNI, Ja'afaru Makarfi could not be reached for comment, as his GSM number was switched off.

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