By James Danjuma, Katsina
Gun wielding terrorists have killed at least 12 persons and injured several others during a Friday morning attack at Illela village in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina state.
The terrorists had attacked Illela village in a bid to avenge the decision of a repentant bandit, one Mani Turwa, who was said to be protecting the community.
Turwa along with his team were said to be guarding the village and other surrounding communities from being attacked by terrorists.
Sources said the terrorists led by four of their leaders initially engaged in a gun duel with Turwa and his team, but were repelled after hours of gunfighting.
But the attacking terrorists were said to have turned their anger on the village, where they ransacked and set ablaze all the houses.
Some residents who later escaped to the surrounding communities claimed that 12 people were killed and several others injured by the terrorists.
One of the residents said that the terrorists attacked riding on several motorcycles, and operated for four several hours.
“They had a gun duel with Turwa and his boys but they were defeated. None of Turwa’s family and his boys were injured.
“The terrorists later returned to burn our houses and property especially some of us who are in the Alhazana area of the village.
“At least 12 people were killed and they were buried on Sunday. But many of us have relocated because of fear of another attack,” the source said.
He added that the injured victims were taken to the hospital for treatment.
But the police spokesman in the state, SP Gambo Isah said he could not confirm the number of victims during the attack.
Isah, while confirming the development on Sunday, said a combined team of personnel of the Nigerian Army and Police have been mobilised to the area to forestall another incident.
“All I can tell you for now is that we received a report from the DPO in charge of Safana that Illela was under attack. That was on January 27.
“Our operatives and that of the Nigerian Army are already there to ward off the terrorists and maintain peace there.
“As for number of victims, honestly, I cannot give you the details until we receive a report from our operatives on ground there. But peace has already returned there,” he said.
In a similar development, unidentified gunmen have also shot and injured five people and rustled unspecified number of livestock in Batsari council area of the state on Sunday.
Our source told us that two of the victims are in critical conditions at an undisclosed hospital.
The victims were said to have been attacked along the Jibia-Batsari road, while on their way to the Jibia market which operates on Sundays.
According to a source in the area, the terrorists had blocked the road and ordered driver in which the victims were traveling in, to stop.
“But the driver refused, and as he sped past them, the terrorists shot at the vehicle and they hit four passengers, while the driver was shot on his hand.
“The victims were taken to hospital for treatment but two of them are in critical condition due to the nature of injures they had sustained.
“On the same day, the terrorists attacked three areas, including Garin-Inu, Yandaka market and Rumah village- specifically in Sabon Gari area, all in Batsari Local Government.
“They rustled several cows in Garin-Inu, rustled all the cows that were brought for sale at the Yandaka market, and went away with two large bulls used for farming at Rumah village,” the source said.
He therefore, called on government and security agencies to boost security in the area to forestall future attacks.