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45 persons, mostly children killed in Kaduna

Suspected bandits, on Saturday afternoon, raided Gwaska Village in the Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing 45 persons, mostly children.

The Birnin-Gwari Vanguards for Security and Good Governance said no fewer than 45 bodies were recovered by vigilantes and volunteers with the assistance of soldiers on Sunday afternoon.

A source said the bandits, in their hundreds, as usual, stormed Gwaska Village via Zamfara State, riding on motorcycles.

He said the bandits raided the village, shooting sporadically and killing anybody in sight.

“The bandits, after sacking the entire village of about 3,000 people, razed their houses,” the source said.

Kaduna State Police commissioner, Austin Iwar, also confirmed that 45 villagers were killed by bandits in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state.

He said the police had deployed over 150 police operatives in the area, he said that normalcy had returned to the community.

Also, a social media message by members of the community, under the aegis of Birnin-Gwari for Security and Good Governance, confirm the claim by the source.

“The group also quoted a vigilante source as saying that they were on patrol to Gwaska on Saturday around 7pm with the military “but the commander asked the soldiers to retreat because of darkness.”

They appealed to the Federal Government to take urgent steps to halt further attacks on the people of Birnin-Gwari.

“Barely one week after the massacre of local miners at Janruwa in the Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, today (Saturday), around 2:30pm, bandits killed 27 people, mostly children, at Gwaska village.

“The bandits, from neighbouring Zamfara State, encircled Gwaska up to Kuiga village shooting sporadically. Also the bandits burnt down completely the village of about 3,000 inhabitants.

“Survivors, mostly women now at Doka district, said, ‘most of those killed are volunteers that tried to defend the village and children that cannot escape the onslaught.’

“One other source from the local vigilance group said they were in Gwaska together with the military at around seven o’clock in the evening but the commander asked the soldiers to retreat because of darkness. Also vigilantes made a U-turn with a handful of survivors and injured people.

“The vigilantes informed us that the casualties will be more but promised to mobilise tomorrow for evacuation of more casualties.”

“We would continue to appeal to the authorities to take urgent steps to forestall further attacks and extinction of communities in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.”

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Governments has confirmed the attack on Gwaska village.

They expressed concern over the incessant attacks, saying he had been engaging with the Federal Government on the matter.

The Governments has directed the State Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials with immediate effect to the affected communities.

“The Kaduna State Government has received with sadness reports of the murder of our citizens by bandits in Birnin Gwari. The government has sent a message of condolence to the people of Birnin Gwari Emirate.

“The Kaduna State Government is deeply committed to overcoming the unfortunate criminality and banditry being carried out against innocent citizens in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area.

“The engagements between the state and the Federal Government have yielded results. President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a permanent battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari general area.”

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