Kaduna — Suspected bandits yesterday attacked four villages in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State killing 51 people and leaving many injured.
The affected villages include Kerawa, Zareyawa and Marina all in Kerawa Ward of the local government.
The attackers were said to have stormed the villages around 6am shortly after the Subh (early morning prayer).
Daily Trust learnt that many residents fled as the assailants also set many houses ablaze and carted away foodstuff.
The councillor of Kerawa Ward, Malam Dayyabu Kerawa, confirmed the incident to our correspondents.
He said all the 51 victims were buried around 4pm.
He said those who sustained injuries were taken to hospital for treatment.
"We don't know who they were; they only stormed the villages and started shooting people. As we speak, 51 people have been buried; while the injured were taken to the hospital," he said.
He added that the information about the attack came late due to network problems.
"Nobody knew about the incident on time because there was no network in the affected villages," he said.
Kerawa also said security agencies later visited the scene, but left.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Mohammed Jalige, said he got information about the incident not long ago.
He said he had already contacted the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the area who visited the scene to brief him about the incident.
A reliable source in the state confirmed the incident to Daily Trust last night.
He said as of yesterday evening, 37 people had been confirmed killed, adding however, that the death toll could be higher.
The source who declined to be mentioned, said most of the victims were men.
He said the attack was a reprisal as the assailants went from house to house, selecting people they tagged as informants to security agencies.
The source also said during an aerial bombardment, involving three aircraft, many of the bandits were also killed.
"We got information that bandits attacked these villages and that the military authorities were informed. They (military) moved in. The military and the bandits engaged in a gun duel.
"As at this evening (yesterday) from different villages, we learnt that about 37 were killed, but the death toll could rise. There is that possibility. There is still an existing operation going on. They went after the households they believed were collaborating with security agencies," the source said.
Twenty-one people were reportedly killed on February 12 at Bakali village in Fatika District of Giwa Local Government Area of the state when bandits stormed the village and killed 16 members of the same family and five others including members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).
Brandishing weapons and shooting sporadically into the air, the bandits stormed Bakali around 4pm where they locked up about 16 members of the same family and set the house on fire.
A day later, gunmen opened fire at Maro Market in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state in the evening and instantly killed seven people, leaving many injured.
However, one of the more devastating incidents within the last six months took place in Igabi Local Government Area of the state in October 2019 when bandits killed three members of a vigilante group, surrounded 16 villages and farmlands and ordered the residents to leave their homes or face attacks.
The incident saw thousands of women and children relocate to the Local Education Authority Primary School, Birnin Yero for refuge.
Daily Trust could not reach the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, at the time of filing this report.