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Nigeria: 38 killed in bandits’ attacks on Kaduna villages

Attacks by unknown bandits over the weekend have left dozens killed in Nigeria’s Kaduna State.

By Vatican News staff writer

At least 38 persons have been confirmed killed, and several properties, houses, cars, and farms set ablaze as bandits attacked three villages in Kaduna State.

Reports say that the armed men attacked Kauran Fawa, Marke, and Riheya villages in Idasu, Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna, northern Nigeria, between Saturday and Sunday.

News sources initially indicated that 20 people were killed but Kaduna state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan confirmed the new figure in a statement issued on Sunday.

In the update, Aruwan said that security forces had confirmed that 38 people were killed across the locations attacked by the bandits. At the time of his statement, 29 of the victims had been identified, with nine remaining unidentified.

Bandits within the week had also killed residents of Zangon Kataf, Chikun, Birnin Gwari, Igabi, and Kauru Local Government Areas of Kaduna in separate attacks.

Reaction from authorities

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna has commiserated with the affected communities and has given orders to the State Emergency Management Agency to conduct an assessment of the affected areas in view of providing relief.

Following the attack, security agencies have increased patrols in the general area.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the renewed attacks in the state and expressed sadness about the gruesome incidents in Kauran Fawa, Marke, and Riheya.

On Sunday, in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari expressed his condolences to the people of Kaduna State and prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased.

The president also affirmed that security forces have turned up the heat on the terrorists “who are getting frustrated and are soft-targeting innocent citizens, looting their assets, burning their homes, and killing them indiscriminately.”

Shehu added that the president has reiterated his directive to the security and intelligence chiefs “to do everything they can to destroy the remaining vestiges of the terrorists.”

Insecurity in Nigeria

Nigeria, particularly the northern region, has been facing security challenges – from kidnapping to extremist insurgencies – creating fear among citizens who have been hit by violence and crime.

While the Boko Haram extremist insurgency tends to come to the fore, insecurity in Nigeria has also been linked to several other factors, including the rate of poverty amid the nation’s struggling economic situation. Also, violent clashes between nomadic herders and farmers over grazing land and water resources have left many dead or injured, especially in villages along grazing routes used by the herdsmen.

More recently, the activities of bandits, especially in the northwest have been of concern for both the government and security agencies. These “unknown gunmen” raid villages, kidnap citizens for ransom, including schoolchildren, and in some cases, kill their victims even after the ransoms have been paid.

20 December 2021, 11:24