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Gunmen Kill 22 In Fresh Attack In Kaduna …As Cultists Gun Down Pregnant Woman, Three Others In Bayelsa


Aug. 07, 2020

No fewer than 22 people have been reported killed in fresh attacks on communities in four villages of ZangonKataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State by yet to be identified gunmen. The Tide gathered that, the gunmen launched what sources described as coordinated attacks on Apyia’Shyim, A’Piako, Atak’Mawei, and Kibori villages, all in Atyap Chiefdom of ZangonKataf. Zango-Kataf is one of the recently troubled local government areas in the southern part of Kaduna State. The situation had forced the state government to impose a 24-hour curfew since June 11. A source told our correspondent that, the attackers operated unchallenged, having taken advantage of the all-night rain. According to the source, “It rained all through the night in the area and the attackers had unchallenged operations from around 10 pm Wednesday which entered early hours of Thursday. “By the time they were done, 22 corpses have so far recovered at about 12pm today (Thursday) while the search is still on. They also burnt several houses,” the source said. A resident of Atak’mawei village in Zamandabo ward, IrimiyaGandu, said no fewer than 13 persons have been killed and many houses were burnt down in his community. According to him, “around 1:00am, I was already asleep when I heard the sound of gunshots. I stepped out from our compound we could hear the sound of gunshots from Apia’akum Community and far Kibori village were already under attack. I rushed into my house and brought out my families and ran to a safer place. “So far, 13 persons are killed mostly Children and women. We are still looking for more. Many houses were burnt also,” he said. Also, a survivor from Apia’ahko village, Samson Alat said, an aged man, a little child and youth were killed when armed men invaded the village. “They burnt the house of late Col. Bobai and five important houses and stole from the village,” he said. According to him, “soldiers came on motor bikes and an armoured tank, but they could not stop these wicked people. We were hiding inside maize farm and we saw them. This was around 1am last night. We are still looking for more missing people.” A resident in Apiashyim, Jonathan Ishaya said six persons were killed during the attack in his community and the village almost entirely razed. He said the armed men invaded the Community heavily armed at around 11:00pm of Wednesday, shooting sporadically. Secretary, Atyap Traditional Council, Mr Stephen Akut, also confirmed the development to journalists that, “the attackers were said to be in large numbers and that the casualty figures are still sketchy. Security operatives have been mobilize to the affected communities.” Chairman of ZangoKataf Local Government Area, Dr Elias Manza on his part, confirmed that three corpses were recovered in KurminMasara, six in ApyiaShyam (Asha a Wuce) and 10 in Takmawai where the destruction of property was massive. Meanwhile, several calls put across to the Police Public Relations Officer for Kaduna State Police Command, ASP Muhammad Jalige, were not responded to as at the time of filing this report. In a related development, a deadly attack by suspected cultists has left four people including a pregnant woman dead in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital. The deceased which also included the husband of the pregnant woman occurred Wednesday night along Bakery Road of Azikoro area in the state capital. Investigations revealed that the attack by the suspected cultists was a reprisal attack following a partnership between Police security outfit, Operation Puff Adder and residents of the state which has made the suspected cultists uncomfortable. The synergy between residents and the Police had led to the recent invasion and destruction of the cultists’ hideout which has been used for criminal activities. Sources in the area said the suspected cultists might also be irked over the recent mob lynching of cult members in the area The suspected cultists were said to have stormed a church Lion of Judah Fire Deliverance Ministry where a security guard was shot dead before moving to kill the three other people in front of their homes. Sources said the suspected cultists were patrolling the area and dared residents to come out to fight them. A team of Operation Puff Adder operatives deployed to the area to arrest the situation succeeded in chasing the cultists away. The Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli who visited the scene ordered the immediate manhunt for the suspects. He assured members of the Community of adequate police protection and ordered for full Investigation to unravel the motive for this dastardly attack. The Bayelsa State Police Command in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), AsinimButswat, announced that the police are already on the trail of the suspects. “On 5th August, 2020, at about 2300hours, armed suspected cultists stormed the ‘Lion of Judah Church’ Azikoro village, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State “They shot dead four church members namely; Alfred Marcus aged 30 years, Imomotimi aged 25 years, Gabriel Ejimofor aged 45 years and UchechukwuEjimofor aged 38 years and set ablaze a nearby building, damaged a vehicle and the church properties. “Operatives of operation Puff Adder had earlier traced the hideouts of the cultists in the bush, dislodged them and burnt their camp. “It is believed that this is a reprisal attack by the suspected cultists. Meanwhile two suspects have been arrested and are cooperating with the Police in their investigation”.
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