Nigeria: Death Toll Rises As Vigilantes, Bandits Clash Escalates in Katsina

Scene of a violent attack in Kaduna State (file photo).
10 April 2019

Bandits yesterday killed dozens of civilians at Dandume and Sabuwa Local government areas as clashes between local vigilantes with the bandits escalated in Katsina.

In Dandume, a resident said not less than 22 corpses of the volunteers (Civilian JTF) were recovered between Monday and yesterday.

A resident, who spoke to Daily Trust last night, said the volunteers were ambushed by the bandits around Madachi, a village near Dandume. He said the CJTF got intelligence the bandits had blocked the Dandume-Birnin Gwari road and decided to disperse them. He said unknown to the vigilantes, their plan was revealed to the bandits.

The resident, who sought anonymity because of security concerns, said after a deadly clash, more than 30 vigilantes were killed. Fourteen bodies were retrieved on Monday and eight others yesterday.

He said more Civilian JTF are still trapped in the bush around Madachi. He said "after the clash with the bandits on Sunday, some of the volunteers numbering about nine dispersed into the bush and took refuge inside a cave. Unfortunately, the cave is now surrounded by the bandits. The volunteers are trapped."

The bandits yesterday struck again and killed eight passengers along the Dandume -Birnin Gwari road. "The bandits opened fire on the vehicle, forcing it to a halt. All the occupants that included children were murdered in the most gruesome manner. The bandits plucked the eyes of some of the passengers," he said.

In a related development, about 18 people were reportedly killed during another clash between the volunteers and the bandits in Sabuwa local government area of the state.

The volunteers upon hearing the Tsamiyar Jino attack decided to confront the bandits which led to the heavy casualties on both sides.

When contacted, the spokesperson of Katsina police command, Gambo Isah, said the command is not aware of the Dandume incidence. He said it might happen on the Birnin Gwari axis which falls into Kaduna command.

However, on the Sabuwa incidence, Gambo said only 10 died in which their corpses were recovered this morning (Monday). He said six of the corpses have been identified to be members of the volunteers while the remaining four are yet to be identified.

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