Gunmen on Sunday morning attacked Atak Mawai in Zaman Dabo village and Kurmin Masara both in Atyap Chiefdom, Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna state, killing 13 people including a preteen boy.
Kaduna state government however confirmed that 11 residents were killed, and some inflicted with gunshot injuries.
Several people were injured in the attack just as 40 houses were razed down by the unknown gunmen.
The Chairman, Zangon Kataf local government area, Hon. Francis Angwa Sani, confirmed the attacks but declined comment on the number of casualties and houses burnt noting that he was yet to receive the report.
According to the local government Chairman, “Yes there was attack, but I don’t have complete details. I learnt people were killed and houses burnt but I’ve not gotten the report yet.”
However, a source, who does not want his name in print, said a young boy between five and 10-year-old and two women were among the 13 people killed, adding that the gunmen came around 3am and started shooting sporadically kiling anybody at sight.
“I was at home sleeping when I heard gunshots at 258am. I found somewhere to hide for safety. I learnt that the soldiers in charge of Zonkwa was called immediately but they didn’t come.
“Around 3:45am the commandant was called again that the situation is worse then he switched off his phone.
“The attacks happened in Kurmin Masara and Zaman Dabo, this morning we went to the place and discovered 13 corpses.
“There was a young boy of between five and 10 years who was shot in the leg and later died, two women were also killed in the attack. They burnt down almost 40 houses in the two villages.
“When the soldiers came early this morning they said they were pinned down by some gunmen, that the gunmen blocked the road,” he said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna state command, ASP Muhammad Jalige, said he would confirm and get back to journalists but he has yet to do so as at the time of going to press.
According to the source, apart from the houses that were burnt, the villagers’ foodstuffs were also destroyed, as well as other valuables belonging to residents of the communities.
Speaking in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna state government said, “security forces have reported to the Kaduna state government that Kurmin Masara general area of Zangon Kataf LGA was attacked in the early hours of today.
“According to the reports, troops of the Nigerian Air Force Special Forces who responded to distress calls from the area also fell into an ambush as they mobilized to the scene of the attack. The troops cleared the ambush and reached the general area, along with troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH).
“As of 4:30pm, eleven residents were confirmed killed, and some inflicted with gunshot injuries.
“The victims confirmed killed are listed as follows: Elizabeth Ayuba, Veronica Auta, Bege Daniel, Kephas Waje, Promise Jacob, Damaris istifanus, Hauwa Joshua, Dogara Gambo, Lidia Ishaya, Michael Achi, Gabriel Michael.
“Over thirty houses and properties were burnt in the attack. The injured were evacuated for treatment. Search-and-rescue operations and pursuit of the attackers are in progress on different fronts.
“The government of Kaduna state will make public further details as soon as they are received from security forces.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i, who has been in touch with the security forces and is receiving hourly briefings, expressed sadness at this report of the latest in a series of attacks in the area. He prayed for the repose of all those killed and conveyed his condolences to their families. He further wished the injured a speedy recovery.”