How Bandits Killed 71 Vigilantes, Residents In Katsina | READ DETAILS
At least 71 persons including vigilantes and residents have been killed by bandits following an attack in seven communities of Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The affected communities are; Jargaba, Gidan Gago, Gidan Alhaji Audu Gari, Gidan Shirai, Gidan Baushe, Unguwar Gogai and Dicika in Bakori LGA.
According to reports the vigilantes numbering 41, were ambushed when they alongside other victims, were tracing their cows rustled by the bandits at Gidan Gwanki and Gidan Damo communities of Kankara LGA of the state.
A security source in Kankara that pleaded anonymity to Daily Trust said;
“Frankly, I was one of those who evacuated the corpses. What I have witnessed so far is that 41 bodies were initially evacuated and later I heard that about 28 more, but I was not part of the last operation.
“It was a clash between some Fulani settlements and members of vigilante groups who mobilised from villages in Bakori LGA. We could not ascertain what caused the problem because the investigation is still ongoing.
“But from what we have gathered is that some bandits went to those areas and rustled some animals and residents of the communities mobilised and followed the footpath that led them to the main road, not close to those Fulani hamlets. But because they were notorious in the area, the vigilante decided to search their cattle and possibly impound some of them so that they will talk to those that rustled their own to return them, believing that they know the bandits.
“This was how the clash started and by the time we got the information, about 18 people were killed. When we got there, both sides had retreated and we thought the fight was over, not knowing that they all went back to regroup, mobilise more fighters and return. Unfortunately, it was late in the evening and our Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was faulty, so we could not go back.
“The following morning (on Friday), we got reinforcement from the military that came with APC, together we went to the scene and evacuated 20 corpses. The second time, the area commander of Funtua came with two APCs and we went and evacuated another 15 corpses and then six, making a total of 41 on Friday.
“Then on Saturday, the Chairman of Bakori Local Government came with the families of the victims. They hired a truck and by then our APC was repaired. They went round the scene and recovered more corpses, but since I was not part of that, I don’t know the exact figure, but some were saying 28 or thereabout,” the source said.
A resident told Daily Trust that they buried 71 victims on Sunday.
However, a statement released by the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, said those killed were members of the outlawed Yansakai (volunteers) group from 11 villages in Bakori Local Government.
The statement read:
“On Wednesday, 1/02/2023 at about 2200hrs, terrorists in their numbers, shooting sporadically with AK-47 rifles, attacked the house of one Alhaji Muntari, at Unguwar Audu Gare, Kandarawa, Bakori LGA, and rustled fifty (50) cows and thirty (30) sheep.
“Subsequently, on Thursday, 2/02/2023, at about 10:00hrs, Yansakai outlawed group, from eleven (11) villages from Bakori LGA, regrouped and went after the terrorists with a view to recovering the rustled domestic animals. They traced the footpath of the hoodlums to a location at Yargoje Forest.
“Unfortunately, the terrorists planned and launched a coordinated ambush on the Yansakai. The hoodlums shot and killed forty-one (41) Yansakai and wounded two (2).
“Area Commander, Malumfashi, led a team of Policemen to the scene and recovered the corpses and injured to Kankara General Hospital. A joint security operation is currently ongoing with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book. Investigation is ongoing, please”.