Bandits raid Kaduna villages, kill 32 persons

...govt debunks report of aerial attack by terrorists

At least 32 persons have been killed after bandits raided some villages in Southern Kaduna, the state government confirmed on Thursday. It, however, debunked reports that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against locals in the affected communities.

“The Kaduna State government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday. The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses,” Samuel Aruwan, commissioner for internal security and home affairs said in a statement.

The statement added that the Kaduna State government received initial reports from security agencies, that bandits attacked the villages of Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Ungwan Maikori in Kajuru local government area on Sunday.

According to the reports, the bandits stormed the area in large numbers on motorcycles and proceeded to raze several houses, as they attacked and killed locals.

“Since the attack on Sunday, security agencies and traditional leaders in the locations have been updating the government on the development.

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As of the time of this report, 32 persons have been confirmed dead following the attack.”

The statement further informed that an Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.

“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area. It was the arrival of the air asset which deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the villages after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses,” the statement read.

“The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals is therefore an untrue account.

The government of Kaduna State has gone through all the facts and finds it regrettable that a section of the media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law and order. Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the government-backed by incontrovertible facts,” it added.

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