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Armed herdsmen disrupt wedding, kill 19, injure 33 others in S/Kaduna

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Suspected armed Fulani herdsmen again invaded a Southern Kaduna community of Kauru local government area, killing 19 people, while several others were injured.

The gunmen were allegedly armed with sophisticated weapons when they invaded Kukum Daji Village and opened fire on the inhabitants at a wedding party, which was going on, leaving a track of heavy casualties.

The attack, which was said to have been launched on the village late Sunday night, lasted till early hours of Monday morning.

It was also gathered that 33 other persons, who ‘escaped’ the onslaught by the gunmen, sustained various degrees of injuries.

Already, the Police command in Kaduna has confirmed the attack and killings in the affected area and has also commenced investigation, while Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, condemned the killings, blaming the Federal and State Governments over the increased level of insecurity in the southern part of the state.

Eyewitnesses from Kukum Daji Village said the attackers, who were heavily armed with rifles and other dangerous weapons, descended on villagers and killed them in cold blood.

The SOKAPU spokesman, Luka Binniyat, reacted to the attack by the gunmen, saying that “There was a young man, who got married on Sunday, and in the evening his friends decided to have a party in Kukum Daji when the armed Fulani herdsmen invaded the village.”

He narrated thus: “Unknown to the villagers, the armed Fulani herdsmen were lurking in the dark, and started opening fire on them and the village. Instantly, the attackers killed 10 boys and five girls.

“By the time the armed men left, there were 13 corpses on the floor, and 33 people were severely wounded with fatal gun injuries. And this is to tell you that, as far as Southern Kaduna is concerned, we don’t have any government.”

Similarly, the President of the Community Development Association, Mr. Yashen Titus, told journalists this Monday, that, most of the victims were shot dead in one of the houses, where the wedding party took place in the community. He explained that the attackers stormed the village at exactly 10:35pm on Sunday, heavily armed and started shooting sporadically.

Tutus said: “Thirty-two other people, who sustained various degrees of injuries, were rushed to the hospitals, but unfortunately, two of them died, while in hospital.

“As I speak, some of the villagers are still missing and we don’t know their state. We cannot even search deep into the bush because security agents have not been deployed to the community yet.”

While blaming the state government over the rate of attacks and killings by gunmen in the Southern Kaduna, Binniyat said, ‘As far as we are concerned, lives and properties of the people are of the least concern to the government of Nasir El-Rufai.

“There is nothing we can do under this situation we find ourselves. We don’t control government and we don’t have army, police, and even the vigilante service is under the control of Kaduna State Government.”

Binniyat also remarked that “The state government has kept saying that any kind of self-defense amounts to what the governor says is ‘self help,’ pointing out that “Even the communities are not encouraged to defend themselves because it will amount to self help, and this has been criminalized.

“In some cases, the governor will be the one fabricating figures and saying that our people killed Fulanis without evidence. We are now under constant siege. The Federal Government has looked the other way, as our people are being killed.”

When contacted, Kaduna Police Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Muhammad Jalige, confirmed the attack in Kukum Daji.

He however said the casualty figure was yet to be ascertained, but hinted that the entire area has been fortified, adding, “Yes, there was an attack on Kukum Daji Village of Kaura local government area yesterday night. The area has been fortified, but we are yet to confirm the number of casualty. As soon as we get that, I will get back to you.” 

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