• Kaduna Govt denies reports of aerial attack by terrorists
• Says NAF helicopter deployed to engage bandits
About 32 people have been reportedly killed by terrorists popularly referred to as bandits during an attack in some villages in Kaduna State on Sunday.
The State’s Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed this while giving a security update on Thursday and added that the government mourns the gruesome killing and burning of houses in the attacked locations.
Aruwan named the villages attacked by the bandits as Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki, and Ungwan Maikori in Kajuru Local Government Area of the State. Adding that security agencies and traditional leaders in the locations have been updating the government on the development since the incident on Sunday.
According to the reports, the bandits stormed the area in large numbers on motorcycles and proceeded to raze several houses, as they attacked and killed locals.
Aruwan identified those killed at Dogon Noma Ahmadu Musa, Audu Dandaura, Akilu Laya, David Wasika, Hajatu Buhari, Nashon Buhari, Iliya Yaki, Javan Mairabo, Jackson Adamu, Nasco Victor, Dutse Gwamna, Joshua Amadi, Gona Isah, Douglas Yakubu, Phineas Joel, Tanimu Umaru, Abody Iliya, Wanzami Halidu, and Dogo Aweh.
Others include Sunday Shittu, Rejoice Audu, Jedidiah Ayawa, Jinkai Pius, Rebecca Ayafa, Ishaya John, Audu Danladi, Jibo Sule, Yakubu Garba, and Williams Danbaba.
The Ungwan Sarki village, Maikasa Kufana, and Augustine Bahago were confirmed killed while Mamiya Maikori was killed at Ungwan Maikori village.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State government has debunked a report published in some dailies suggesting that the victims of the attack were killed by terrorists using a helicopter.
According to Aruwan, “The Kaduna State Government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday. The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses.
“An Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.
“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.”
He further disclosed that It was the arrival of the air asset that deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses.
“The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.
“The Government of Kaduna State has gone through all the facts and finds it regrettable that a section of media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law, and order.
“Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the Government-backed by incontrovertible facts,” he added.
Aruwan said the military, police, and other security agencies working in the general area deserve commendation and motivation, rather than demoralizing allegations.
“In the last 72 hours, security forces have conducted vigorous operations in the same general area, and are on the trail of a wounded notable terrorist.
“Similarly, several kidnapped victims, including an expatriate kidnapped at a mining site, were rescued after a fierce engagement with bandits,” he said.
He said Governor of the State, Nasir El-Rufa’i, on receiving reports of the attack, expressed deep sadness and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls. The Governor also conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.