About 16 people were reportedly killed in Katoge and Yanturaku communities in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, following invasion of the area by marauding bandits.
The bandits, who launched the fresh onslaught on the communities at about 7:15pm Wednesday night, also left 13 other villagers with varying degrees of injuries as survivors scampered to safety.
A resident of Yanturaku, Ibrahim Mu’azu, while confirming the incident to THISDAY, claimed that the hoodlums operated for about an hour before the intervention of security personnel.
Mu’azu, whose mother, Amina, was among those injured by the mobsters during the invasion, said the shutdown of telecommunications services in the area triggered the new wave of insecurity.
“My mother, Amina Mu’azu, who was severely injured by the bandits, who attacked our community (Yanturaku) yesterday is receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Center, here in Katsina.
“The bandits came in large numbers with their motorcycles and started shooting sporadically, where they killed 16 people in Yanturaku and Katoge. We couldn’t alert security people on time because of the lack of network in Batsari.
“The shutdown of the network in Batsari is not yielding any result because the bandits are killing us everyday and we can’t report their actions to security agencies for quick intervention”.
State Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, said the bandits, armed with sophisticated weapons such as AK-47, killed only 11 villagers in both Katoge and Yanturaku communities.
Isah, a superintendent of police, in a statement, said, “Yesterday (Tuesday) 09/11/2021 at about 1915hrs, bandits in their numbers, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles, attacked Katoge and Yanturaku quarters of Batsari LGA, killed 11 and injured 13 persons.
“The Commissioner of Police, Katsina State Command, has deployed Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of operations, with additional units of PMF personnel to the area to beef up security and restore confidence in the affected communities”.
But the District Head of Batsari, Tukur Mu’azu Ruma, had earlier told THISDAY that fleeing bandits from the neighbouring Zamfara State were infiltrating and taking over farming communities and villages within his chiefdom.
He explained that bandits from Zamfara and Kaduna States, who were suffering from starvation as result of the ongoing onslaught against them by security personnel, were ransacking communities in the area to steal foodstuff and other valuables belonging to residents.
He expressed worries that many farmers in the local government might not harvest their crops due to the activities of the fleeing bandits.