Scores were yesterday killed in an early morning retaliatory attack at Diskiru village in Dandume Local Council of Katsina State.
Victims of the 2:00 a.m. onslaught were mainly children and the elderly.
The police spokesperson in the state, SP Gambo Isah, said 17 lives were lost, including 12 locals, four vigilantes and a security agent, adding that scores of bandits were neutralised by military fighter jets.
He added that a substantial number of the assailants met their waterloo in neighbouring Faskari council area where they were ambushed by men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
His words: “Yes, they (bandits) attacked a village called Diskiru in Dandume Local Government Area, and it was a reprisal.
“Last week, the bandits came and they didn’t find it easy with the villagers, because about three of them were killed.
“So, they left to regroup. They returned numbering over 200 on motorbikes, each carrying an AK-47 rifle.
“They even came with a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG).”
Isah went on: “They killed as many as they could. They killed 12 of the villagers and set many houses ablaze.
“The DPO learnt about the situation, and he called for reinforcement from the military Operation Sahel Sanity.
“Based on the intelligence that we had, we learnt that the bandits were going to pass through a cattle route that leads to Faskari LGA.
“So we alerted the officers, and they laid siege to the hoodlums. Fortunately, they ran into it.”
The spokesman said the military lost a troop in the ensuing gun duel.
“The report I have here with me was that so many of them (thugs) were killed by the fighter jets,” he added.
A source, who craved anonymity, maintained that several inhabitants, comprising married women and young girls, were kidnapped by the hooligans besides torching of dozens of homes.
Also speaking, the council’s Director of Administration and Supply (DAS), Ahmed Idris, said 15 residents were murdered, five others injured, while three women were abducted, but later escaped.
The massacre was less than 48 hours after a combined team of security agents foiled a plot to unleash mayhem on Tsaskiya settlement in Safana council area of the state.
In repelling them, the military slew five hoodlums, as the marauding gunmen fell a 30-year-old lunatic.
Also, on October 25 this year, bandits killed two people and abducted six others in Bilbis and Yantuwaru communities of Faskari council area.