No fewer than 30 members of Civilian Joint Tasks Force (CJTF) in Zamafara state were killed by a group of unknown gunmen at Kwaren Shikafi village in Shinkafi local government area of the state.
Narrating his experience to our reporter weekend, a resident of the area, Alhaji Bala Abubakar Shinkafi said the bandits numbering about hundred, ambushed the CJTF operatives escorting traders from Kware village to Shinkafi on market day (Thursday).
He said several traders were injured during the attack as the hoodlums made away with valuables worth millions of Naira.
“We have buried 31 dead bodies while those who sustained injury have been taken to Shinkafi General Hospital for urgent medical attention,” Shinkafi said.
He said no security personnel was deployed to the area to restore peace, thus exposing their lives to danger from the bandits’ attack.
He appealed to the federal government to deploy more troops to the state to combat the banditry.
Similarly, the bandits had Tuesday launched an attack on another community, killing 13 persons, setting several vehicles ablaze and abducting 60 people; including a district head and his wife at Kawaye village in Anka local government area of the state.
This prompted the state Governor, Abdulaziz Yari to order the deployment of more troops for the safety of the communities.
When contacted, the state’s police Public Relations Officer SP Muhammad Shehu confirmed the two incidents, saying a combined team of mobile police, conventional, army and CTU had been sent to the area to restore peace.
Fake soldiers kill 7 in Benue
In a related development, gunmen dressed in military uniform Saturday attacked and killed seven persons in Agagbe, Gwer West local government area of Benue state.
Commander of the Operation Whirl Stroke OPWS Major-General Adeyemi Yekini confirmed this to journalists Sunday.
He said the troops discovered bodies of those killed in the attack, saying the attackers were as at the time of this report still unknown.
Briefing newsmen at the OPWS headquarters at the Tactical Air Command Headquarters Makurdi, General Yekini, expressed worry that some forces in the state were trying to instigate violence in Benue for their selfish interest.
He said though the military is working hard to maintain peace in the state, some people were working underground to ensure that there was crisis.
Yekini, who condemned the attacks and killings in the state, said it was disheartening that some persons took joy in taking human lives or instigating violence.
The army chief also said a week before the presidential and National Assembly elections, Agatu was attacked and people were killed and similar incident was taking place now a week before governorship and state Assembly elections.
He said seven names of persons involved in cattle rustling which probably resulted in the killings were given to the OPWS by chairman of Gwer West local government where the attack took place.
Yekini said investigation was on by the police to unravel the true identity of those behind the killings and cattle rustling in the state.
Earlier, sub sector commander of the operation in the area, Flying Officer Mohammed Abubakar said he got information from their source within the affected community that men dressed in military uniforms were hiding in a forest at Agagbe, following which he quickly mobilised his men and headed to the place.
“I got information from our source in Gwer West that some men in military uniforms were in a forest at Agagbe.
“While we were heading to the place we were hearing gunshots, but on getting near the place, the gunshot died down.
“Before we reached there the attackers fled but we recovered seven corpses — three at the site of the attack and four others when we were combing the place in search of the assailants,” he said.