Soldiers yesterday stormed a community called Ladduga in Kachia local government area of Kaduna state and arrested about 18 youths in the area.
The soldiers were said to have condoned off the community in the early hours of yesterday and conducted house to house search for weapons.
Sources in the area alleged that the military men, during the search, surrounded Ladduga Central Mosque and stopped worshipers from getting out of the mosque after the dawn prayer.
The allegation was however denied by the military authorities as they argued that they neither entered into the mosque nor stopped anybody from going into the worship centre.
It was however gathered that the heavily armed soldiers went to the community with two armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and 20 Hilux vehicles.
“We don’t know what they were looking for as they ransacked people’s houses. They also brought out our district head and kept him on bare floor with his subjects and manhandled him.
“They arrested over 20 people including married women. They took them to Kaduna as we were told. The army went with two armoured and about 20 Hilux vehicles with inscription Operation Yaki on them,” Secretary, Mobgal Fulbe Development Association, Ahmad Yandeh, said in a telephone interview.
But spokesman of 1 Mechanized Division, Colonel Usman Abdul, denied the allegation that the soldiers entered the mosque and arrested people.
He said the soldiers only went to the community to search for weapons having got information that some elements were planning to attack the community.
“We only went to the area after receiving information that some people on revenge mission are going to attack the community. So we conducted house to house search that early hours and fortunately we were lucky to arrest about 18 people who we found weapons in their possessions”, he said.
According to him, those arrested will be interrogated on how they came across those weapons, and if the army becomes satisfied with their answers they would be released.
He further denied that women and children were arrested during the raid as he called on people to avoid whipping up sentiments on sensitive issues.