Women, children killed as gunmen raid Kaduna villages

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Thirty-three people, including women and children, have been killed in fresh attacks on five communities in Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna state.

The attack took place despite the 24 hour curfew imposed on the local government area by the Kaduna state government.

Following persistent attacks, the government had imposed curfew on Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Jama’a and Kaura LGAs.

Sources said that besides killings, the attackers also set many houses on fire.

A community leader, who did not want to be quoted, listed the affected villages as Apyiashyim, Atak’mawei, Kibori, Kurmin-Masara, and Magamiya, all in Atyap chiefdom.

He said the attackers, who stormed one of the villages around 11pm, operated unchallenged till 4am.

“Information available to me showed that a total of 33 people were killed. In Apyiashyim, six people were killed, in Atak’mawei, 12 people were killed, in Kibori, seven people were killed, in Kurmin-Masara, three people were killed and in Magamiya five people were killed,” the community leader said.

“They were on rampage, they went from village to village, unchallenged by the soldiers and policemen deployed to enforce the 24 hour curfew imposed on our communities about two months ago.

“They don’t obey the curfew, the curfew has emboldened them to invade our villages and kill people, the government must adopt a new strategy to stop the killings. This curfew is not working, it is causing serious pains.

“They are killing us with guns and at the same time hunger is killings us because we cannot go to our farms.

“Our farms are being destroyed. They graze on our farms and use cutlass to cut down the crops, it is a systematic plots to eliminate us. It is should be very obvious to anybody who is in doubt before that this is genocide.

“We are being being killed with guns and are dying of hunger because of the rigidly enforced curfew by the state government targeted at our people.”

Muhammad Jalinge, spokesman of the Kaduna police command, did not not respond to a text message sent to his phone, seeking reaction to the incident.

The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union has, however, condemned the latest killings.

In a statement on Thursday, Luka Binniyat, spokesman of the group, said “33 Atyap natives were killed under the rigidly imposed curfew by the Kaduna state government”.

He said communities in the area had been “shutdown with fierce armed military men patrolling and enforcing the 24 hours curfew” noting that “when the gunmen struck, they were not on ground.”

“Last night, (Wednesday) around 11pm, trucks loads of armed militia made their way through military check points under the curfew and stormed Apiashyim and Kibori village . They lay siege to Apyaishyim killing, looting and burning houses,” he said.

“In the wake of the cruelty, they left six people dead, and 20 houses burnt. In nearby Kibori village, 7 persons were killed by the marauding, pampered militia.

“Around 12am, they struck Atakmawei sleeping community and carried out another carnage after which 12 persons were killed and ten houses burnt. They also went to Apyiako and killed 3 person, and burnt homes, including the home of late Col. Bobai Ishaku among others.”

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