No fewer than 18 people were feared killed on Saturday evening in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State when terrorists clashed with local security guards.
This is just as the death toll of Saturday night attack on Ungwan Wakili community in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State rose to 17.
Residents of Kankara LGA told newsmen that search parties were still busy looking for casualties in the communities where the clashes occurred as of Sunday to determine the exact number of those who could have been killed.
The residents gave the list of settlements where the clashes occurred to include Majifa, Gurbi, Danmarke, Gidan-Anchor, Gidan- Saika, Dan-Mangoro and Gidan-Sale.
It was learnt that while five people were killed in Gurbi, 13 people were killed at Majifa, Makera and Gidan Jifau settlements.
A total of 18 other people said to have suffered injuries in the attacks are being treated at the General Hospital, Kankara as of Sunday afternoon.
According to residents, trouble started on Saturday during a wedding attended by terrorists at Majifa.
It was learnt that the wedding was that of a terrorist leader identified as “Mai Kalifat Mutuwa.”
Some local security guards allegedly clashed with those who attended the wedding party, including terrorists from Zamfara State.
The terrorists, who were said to have been piqued by the clash, thereafter reportedly launched attacks on the other communities, resulting in casualties.
When contacted, the spokesman for the state police command, SP Gambo Isah, said he could only confirm the clash at Majifa.
He added that details surrounding the incident were still sketchy as of Sunday afternoon.
“Yes, there was a clash at Majifa. The details are still sketchy but security operatives made up of the police and troops have been despatched there. For now, I don’t have any other details,” Isah said.
Newsmen reports that the 13-member panel of inquiry on the last February’s clash between terrorists and local security guards known as Yansakai in Kankara and Bakori Local Government Areas of the state submitted its report to the state government last Thursday where Governor Aminu Masari promised speedy implementation of the panel’s recommendations to avoid future bloody clashes in the state.
Southern Kaduna clash
Meanwhile, the death toll of Saturday night attack on Ungwan Wakili community in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State has risen to 17.
One of our correspondents who visited the scene of the attack counted 14 corpses recovered on Sunday morning.
The 14 corpses are apart from the one person killed on Saturday and the two victims that died in the hospital.
Newsmeno gathered from the soldiers on the ground that aside from the pockets of complaints of cow poisoning and destruction of farm produce by the locals and herders which they have been resolving, the crisis was escalated by the alleged killing of a herder four days ago in Ungwan Juju, apparently in retaliation of the killing of one of the locals last month.
Speaking to journalists on Sunday, the Chairman, Zango Kataf Local Government, Mr Francis Zimbo, condemned the attack and assured all that investigations are on to unravel the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, while expressing their displeasure during protests, the locals wondered how an attack will last about 40 minutes without the security operatives getting at least one of the attackers.
A policeman was said to have been part of those who lost their lives in the attack.
The attack came barely 72 hours after a pastor’s son was shot dead while four others were abducted in Karimbu-Kahugu community in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
A source, who did not want his name in print for security reasons, told PUNCH Metro that trouble started on Saturday afternoon with a misunderstanding between security operatives and a herder at a checkpoint in Ungwan Wakili which led to the man and one police officer being shot.
The situation later escalated in the evening when a group of youths who went fishing were attacked and one person killed.
Meanwhile, a 24-hour curfew has been imposed by the state government on four communities in the affected local government area following the breakdown of law and order.
The Special Assistant (Media) to the Executive Chairman, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, Yabo Ephraim, confirmed the development.
According to him, the curfew was imposed to allow soldiers to restore peace in the area.
“This is to allow men of the Nigerian Army to restore peace on that axis,” he said.
The communities affected by the curfew include Ungwan Juju, Mabuhu, Ungwan Wakili and Zango Urban.
Another source said, “Yesterday, March 11, 2023, at about 4.45pm, I was informed that security personnel at a checkpoint in Angwan Wakili tried to stop some herders who were on motorcycles, but they tried to pick up a fight with the policemen.
“One of the policemen was hit with a stick by the herders; the policeman shot one of them in his leg. The men also shot one of the policemen who was quickly rushed to the hospital.”
He explained that the armed men regrouped and returned to the checkpoint between 9pm and 10pm and opened fire on the security personnel.
“But by this time, soldiers were the ones at the checkpoint, exchanging fire.
“Over 10 persons were confirmed killed while four others sustained injuries,” he added.
Meanwhile, the state police command has said that all culprits in the renewed attack would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Muhammad Jalige, told journalists in Kaduna, the state capital that it was true that gunmen attacked the southern part of the state in the early hours of Sunday.
He said, “From the briefing I received from the Area Commander, trouble started a couple of days ago when a boy rearing cattle was murdered. We have been trying to manage the situation while investigating the sad occurrence before trouble broke out.
“A joint security team will be combing the bushes in the area Sunday afternoon to search for bodies if there are any. They will also apprehend the suspects responsible for the killings.
“We are on top of the situation and all the hoodlums responsible would be rounded up.”