Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 March 2014

Nigeria: Gunmen Kill 100 in Kaduna Villages

About 100 people have been reported killed by gunmen in three villages of Kaura LGA in the Southern part of Kaduna state.

The attackers invaded Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwar Gata and Chenshyi villages in Kaura LGA shooting and setting houses ablaze. People who attempted to run for their lives were either gunned down or macheted, it was gathered.

"The attackers were more than 40, armed with dangerous knives, guns and other sophisticated weapons of mass destruction. Over 50 people were killed in our village alone and there is no house that is left standing. All the houses were burnt down by the attackers while people who attempted to run were gunned down. I was just lucky to have escaped but our Pastor's wife, and kids were among the people that were macheted," a Chenshyi villager, Nuhu Moses said.

Another resident in Ungwar Sankwai, Jonathan Bako, said he did not know how he managed to escape the incident he described as massacre.

Bako said: "This is pure massacre. More than 20 people were killed in my community alone while one of the neighbouring villages recorded the killing of about 30 people in the attack. The gunmen came at about 10pm Friday night killing people and burning houses without resistance until around 3am on Saturday.They left unchallenged before the arrival of some security personnel at about 4am. I ran and hid in the bush and that was how I was saved."

He said women and children were burnt in their rooms as they were caught unawares and no easy escape. Vice Chairman of the Local government Daniel Anyip who confirmed the incident said countless homes were set ablaze.

The Vice Chairman who is standing in for the LG Chairman, Kumai Bodu who is away in China said the people of the area were facing hell on earth.

"From our records, in all the three villages attacked, only five houses are standing while people killed are about 100. These are villages that housed a lot of people but they are now homeless," Anyip said.

Anyip who said the attack, which killed mostly women and children was an inhuman and unjustifiable act.

The Kaduna State Police Command Spokesman, Aminu Lawan confirmed the attack. Lawan said security men had been mobilised to the area.

Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum (SKIPF) yesterday described the attack in the three villages as barbaric which has further exposed government insensitivity to the plight of the people of the area.

Chairman of the group, retired Major George Nchok Asake told journalists that the state governor has failed to take action on the killing taking place in the area despite advise and protest.

"We are living in a state of anarchy and we will do everything possible to take the government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to answer charges on the massive killings of our people on daily basis. It is very painful that we keep mourning everyday without the government doing anything about it," Asake said.

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero described the killing of dozens of people in Kaura Local Government area by unknown gunmen as 'barbaric' and directed security forces to find out the remote and immediate causes of the incidence.

Gunmen stormed villages in the area at night and killed many people including women and children.

Government spokesman Ahmed Maiyaki said in a statement that Yero "has condemned the attack on communities of Kaura Local Government area describing the act by unknown assailants as 'ungodly' and 'barbaric'" adding that the governor expressed 'deep sadness' over the 'unwarranted' attacks on innocent citizens of the state.

The governor said those who masterminded the attacks will be brought to justice and that he has ordered full investigation. He promised to step up community surveillance using vigilante groups.

The governor also condoled with families of the victims of the attacks and assured them of government's commitment to protecting lives and property.

He called on people in the communities to remain calm as government is already working with security agencies towards improving security, especially in border communities. "This ugly situation is unacceptable and we will step up efforts to improve surveillance and curtail future occurrences," he said.

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