Tears flowed free yesterday in Madauchi community in Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna State following an early-hour killing of six members of one family by yet-to-be-identified terrorists.
Gunmen had, early last month, stormed the same community and killed one woman, Ms Goodness Daniel, and wounded a young man, Linus Abbiyan.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the gunmen, who particularly went to the house of one Mr. Yakubu Kayit, surrounded the house and set it ablaze while the victims were asleep.
Eyewitnesses said the hoodlums invaded the community around 1am, shot guns sporadically and then set Mr. Kayit's house ablaze. Six members of the household were killed.
Another resident of the community, Mr. Bala Ishaya, told LEADERSHIP that the gunmen stormed the community between midnight and 1am, killing everybody sighted. "We were asleep and suddenly heard gunshots rocking our community. I quickly took my wife and daughter to a safer place. When we came back, all the people in my neighbour's house were burnt right in the house," he said.
Many wondered why the attack that lasted over 30 minutes went unchallenged by soldiers stationed in the area. Mr. Fidelis Bitrus said, "How could these attacks be going on successfully despite the military checkpoint stationed in this area? The gunmen shot sporadically in the air for over 30 minutes but no security man went to the area to save the people until after the gunmen left."
The national president of the Bajju Youth Association, Mr. Gad Ezekiel, also told LEADERSHIP that the attackers wiped out the entire family except a little girl.
The council chairman, Mr. Gambo Dominic Yahaya, who confirmed the attack to LEADERSHIP in a text message said, "An attack took place at Madauchi, near Zonkwa, early this morning. Six people were shot and killed... A building was set ablaze and five members of one family were burnt beyond recognition. Only one un-burnt dead body was brought out of the building."
According to the chairman, the attackers numbering more than 10 disappeared immediately after the attack.
Also confirming the attack, the Kaduna State police command said it has since launched a manhunt for the perpetrators of the act.
The spokesman of the command, DSP Aminu Lawan, who confirmed the killings, said anti-riot policemen had been drafted to the scene of the incident with the hope of arresting the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, hundreds of youths of the area took to the streets demanding an end to what they described as "ungodly killings".
The youths who displayed various placards, leaves and items of clothing chanted war songs calling for the withdrawal of military personnel from the area.
"If the military personnel can't protect the people, they have no business being here. They should go. We will protect ourselves," they said. "We saw a trailer park in the day time. About midnight, when we had gone to sleep, we began to hear gunshots. This is why we are saying the soldiers should go; we will secure our communities by ourselves."
Attack ploy to cause crisis - Gov Yakowa
Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa has described the attack by the terrorists as a deliberate attempt to incite and create chaos in the state.
The governor, who condemned the attack in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Reuben Buhari, said it was saddening because it came when more concerted effort was being by the government to entrench lasting and sustainable peace in the state.
"But even in the face of such unwarranted and deliberate attempt to incite and create chaos, the state government will not be deterred in its quest of ensuring a secured and united Kaduna State.
"The state government, while totally condemning the killing as an act of barbarism, sympathizes with the families of the departed, the Agwam Bajju His Highness Mallam Nuhu Bature, the local government council and the entire people of the state.
"I urge us all to take comfort and strength from the fact that this loss is shared by many who truly care for them and may that give us the courage to face our tomorrow with the hope that peace will find a permanent abode within our state soonest," the statement read.
We've killed Shuwa's killer - JTF
The Joint Task Force (JTF) known as Operation Restore Order announced yesterday it had shot dead a man suspected to have killed Gen Mamman Shuwa in Maiduguri recently.
The JTF said in a statement that it had conducted a major offensive operations at Nganaram, Bulabuilin and Bayan Quarters areas of Maiduguri metropolis leading to the killing of a high-profile Boko Haram commander, Ibn Saleh Ibrahim, who was accused of being responsible for the recent assassination of Gen, Shuwa on the orders of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
According to a press release issued by the spokesman of the JTF, Lt Col Sagir Musa, Saleh Ibrahim who was commanding the north/west and the north/east of Maiduguri was killed while operating his own troops alongside his foot soldiers.
Several weapons, ammunition and IEDs were recovered during the operation, the statement said.
Army spokesman Brigadier Gen. Bolaji Koleosho said the report of the killing of the Boko Haram commander was yet to be filed to the headquarters in Abuja and, as such, he was not in the position to comment.