Bandits were on the rampage on Sunday, killing 24 people in separate attacks on communities in Katsina and Kaduna states.
The attacks occurred on Saturday night in Duba community, Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, where 12 people died and six injured.
Twelve others were killed in reprisal attacks between villagers and herders in Mado, Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna State.
Batsari, where the Katsina killings occurred, is known as the hot bed of banditry in the Northwest state. It shares boundary with the dreaded Rugu Forest and also one of the 10 frontline Local Government Areas prone to armed banditry.
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the Katsina State Police Command, Isa Gambo, told reporters that bandits numbering over 300 and armed with General Purpose Machine Guns, RPGs, including anti-aircraft guns, attacked the community at about 8.45pm on Saturday.
He said: “The bandits had, upon their arrival at the Duba community, started shooting sporadically into the air after which they looted a number of shops and rustled some domestic animals belonging to residents’’
As a result of the attack, 12 people were killed while six injured.”
He said the joint military, police and Airforce operation are ongoing to deal with the situation.
A resident of the area, Malam Aminu Batsari who, attended the burial of those killed, also confirmed the incidence to The Nation . He said their funeral prayers had just been concluded.
He said those wounded as a result of the attack numbering about 6 have already been taken to hospital for treatment.
In the aftermath of the Kaduna attacks, bodies of nine persons were recovered from Ungwan Dooh (Mado) village of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area.
Three herders were reported killed in an attack by unidentified persons, who stormed Ribok, Tsoriyang and Kankada general area of Zangon Kataf council.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said many persons were feared dead, with one person injured, following an attack.
Aruwan said the troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), who responded to distress calls and mobilised to the area, said the assailants fled on sighting the troops.
The commissioner said: “Nine corpses (bodies) have been recovered so far, following a search of the village. The deceased are identified as: Moses Dangana, Mary Dangana, Jummai Dangana, Jerry James, Happy James, Endurance Stephen, Comfort Emmanuel, Jummai Tanko and Mary Clement
“One resident, Magdalene Dangoma, sustained gunshot injuries and is receiving treatment in hospital. Two houses were razed in the attack.
“The troops of Operation Safe Haven also rescued 12 persons who were fleeing from the attackers. Those rescued are: Patrick Chindon, Joseph Agbon, Polymer Joseph, Amos Francis, Keziah Amos, Linda Jonathan, Asabe Jonathan, Jonathan James, Lamin Yohanna, Titi Emmanuel, Patricia Michael and jetral Bala.
“Troops are still carrying out search and rescue operations, and will make public the exact number of casualties.”
On the killing of herders, Aruwan said: “According to reports from security agencies, the attack was a reprisal to the earlier attack in Ungwan Dooh (Mado) area. The reprisal targeted the residence of one Ardo Tanko Usman, where three residents were killed, identified as: Bayero Wake, Isah Usman (the Ardo’s brother) and Abu Usman (Ardo’s mother).”
“Four residents were injured. They are: Ambo Jamo, Sule Ambo, Muazu Ori and Ibrahim Mohammed.
“One car, three houses and eight herders’ huts were burnt and destroyed. The military and police arrived at the scene and evacuated scores of herders to safety.
“Search and rescue operations are in progress and citizens will be updated on further developments.
Acting Governor Dr. Hadiza Balarabe received the report with sadness, and decried the spiral of killings and reprisals in the area.
She prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and sent condolences to their families. She also wished the injured victims a quick recovery.
Arunwa said: “The acting governor appealed for calm and urged residents to desist from reprisal killings while security agencies carry on investigations.”