No fewer than 19 people have been killed in fresh and reprisal attacks in Giwa Local Government area of Kaduna State.
The killings and counter-killings occurred at Kaya community which shares a boundary with Hayin Kaura village in Dandume LGA of Katsina State.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Mr Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the killings in a statement on Sunday, January 3, 2021.
He disclosed that gunmen, numbering about 50 and armed with AK-47 rifles, stormed Kaya town at about 6:30pm on Saturday, January 2, 2021, and began shooting sporadically.
Channels TV reports that according to security reports, the violence began on Friday last week when bandits attacked Kaya town and kidnapped some locals, including two married women; but the bandits were fiercely pursued by a combined team of volunteers from Kaya and Hayin Kaura, in keeping with their practice of supporting security efforts in their respective communities.
In the course of the confrontation, the bandits kidnapped and killed one Shamsu Umar, a leader of the Kaya volunteers whose remains were later found on Saturday after a search operation in the forest.
On the same day, according to the Commissioner, unidentified persons came across some herders and in apparent retaliation for the death of Umar, killed four of them while 11 more people were killed during the attack and reprisals.
Three unidentified corpses said to be drivers in transit from Funtua, Katsina State were also recovered, while nine persons sustained bullet wounds and were taken to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) in Zaria.
Mr Aruwan disclosed that several shops, five vehicles, and some motorcycles were also burnt by the attackers; noting that troops of the Nigerian Army and Police personnel were quickly deployed to the location, along with an air platform of the Nigerian Air Force.
In his reaction, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was involved in coordinating responses to the attack on Saturday night, condoled with the families that lost their loved ones and prayed for the repose of their souls.
He appealed earnestly for recourse to the law as the main solution to the violence, killings, and counter-killings by aggrieved individuals and groups.
The Governor who was worried about the incident asked the Security Agencies to carry out extensive investigations into the circumstances the led to the killings.