Unknown gunmen Monday night attacked two villages in Southern Kaduna, killing at least 38 people and injuring many others in the areas.
The attacks, which occurred in Ankpon village in Nandu district and Kabamu village in Fadan Karshi, both in Numana district of Sanga local government area of Kaduna, forced residents to run to nearby villages.
There were however disputes over the exact casualty figure within official circles. Chairman of Sanga local government area, Emmanuel Adamu, n whose domain the killings took place said a total of 38 were mowed to death, but the Kaduna state Police Commissioner, CP Umar Shehu, insisted that only 18 persons were killed, even as his command recovered an AK-47 rifle and about 158 rounds of ammunition from three suspects arrested.
But some other sources indicated that the casualty figure could be higher than the officials have pointed out.
Briefing journalists after the attack, Mr. Adamu, who said the victims included both women and children, 21 people were killed in Fadan Karshi, while 17 others were killed in Nandu village.
While explaining that the attacks were carried out in the two places simultaneously, the council chairman called on residents in the areas to remain calm and law abiding.
He assured that the security agencies were already tracking the attackers, even as he said that measures have been adopted to forestall recurrence.
However, the Kaduna state police command has dismissed the casualty figure bandied by the local government chairman, saying the number of those who died in the attacks was not up to the 38 claimed by Adamu.
CP said: “I can confirm the death of 18 persons and several others wounded; we have also arrested three persons in connection with the crisis. They were arrested with AK-47 (riffle) and about 158 rounds of ammunition.
“We have deployed more security personnel to the area and the situation is under control as I speak to you now”, he said.
He said investigation into the cause of the attacks has since commenced while those arrested were being interrogated to get further details on their involvement in the incident.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state governor, Ramalan Yero, has described the attack as a provocative attempt by some unpatriotic people to cause confusion and unrest in the area.
A statement signed by Director-General, Media and Publicity to the governor, Ahmed Maiyaki, said Yero condoled with families of victims of the attack.
“We call on people in Fadan Karshi and other parts of the state to remain calm as security forces have already been deployed in the area to maintain law and order. We should remain united and resolute in resisting obvious attempts by agents of darkness to create confusion and sow seeds of discord in our state”, the statement said.
However, in another statement signed by its convener, John Danfulani, the Concerned Realists of Southern Kaduna Forum, warned that the insecurity ravaging the region should be isolated from politics.
He advised government to handle the issue of insecurity in the area with utmost sincerity, justice and honesty, contrary to what he said was being witnessed presently in the state.
“The security situation in Southern Kaduna is given less attention and concern, while it is degenerating and human lives are greatly being wasted with impunity”, the group said.