No fewer than 22 persons, mostly women and children, have been reportedly killed in the early hours of Thursday by suspected Fulani militias in four villages in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The attacked villages were Apyiashyim, Atak’mawai, Kibori, and Kurmin Masara all in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area.
The affected villages, according to report were largely burnt by the attackers, who according to accounts of survivors, included local Fulani born and raised in the villages.
The fresh killings came in the midst of the 24-hour curfew imposed by the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led government as part of measures put in place to ensure law and order in the area since June following an unrest in Zangon Kataf that resulted in the alleged killing of a farmer in a farmland.
A resident of Atak’mawai, a village in Zamandabo ward that was attacked by the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen, Irimiya Gandu, who confirmed the incident, said no fewer than 13 persons have been killed and so many houses were in his community razed down by the attackers.
According to him, the community was attacked at about 1 am while most people were already asleep, saying, “l woke up hearing sound of gunshots all over the place. It dawned on me that we have been surrounded by armed gunmen.”
He added, “I stepped out from the house and all l could hear the sound of gunshots around Zango Urban, Apiokim and Kibori villages were already under attack and houses burning at around 1: am. I rushed into my house and brought out my family members and ran to a safer place. As l am talking to you, so far, 13 persons have been killed mostly children and women apart from other places attacked by the gunmen.”
According to him, the Fulani militias invaded the community heavily armed at around 11: pm of Wednesday night and started shooting sporadically.
He lamented that security operatives were informed of the ongoing attack but only responded when the attackers had already carried out their heinous act and left.
He lamented, “The security agencies are not here to protect us but to serve the interest of those attacking us.”
He added that most the youths have been arrested for allegedly violating the 24-hour curfew imposed but regretted that the attackers moved freely and carried out illicit act without any hindrance by the security agencies.
Worst still, he complained that their farmlands have been completely destroyed while others have also have become grazing lands and the crops completely destroyed.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, could not respond to calls put to his phone to ascertain the attacks carried out.