Abuju – At least nine people have been reportedly killed by bandits during an attack at Ungwan Dakwa village, near Dogon Dawa ward in Birnin Gwari Local government area of Kaduna State.
Although the police authorities are yet to comment on the incident, the House of Assembly member-elect for Birnin Gwari State Constituency, Honourable Yahaya Birnin Gwari, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Sunday.
In a telephone conversation, Gwari said the bandits stormed his community at about 2 pm on Saturday and immediately opened fire on the innocent residents who were going about their daily duties.
He said that some villagers sustained varying degrees of injuries during the attack and were rushed to hospitals at neighbouring Funtua in Katsina State for treatment, while most of the villagers fled from their homes due to fear of a fresh attack by the bandits.
Kaduna is one of the North-Western states that is worst hit by bandits who have continued to wreak havoc in the region.
Heavily armed gangs known locally as bandits frequently carry out mass abductions for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria, holding their captives in camps hidden in vast forest that stretch across the region.
Intercommunal attacks and abductions for ransom have been on the rise again after a lull during elections in February and March for the presidency and governorship posts.
Gunmen killed 33 people in an attack on a farming village in Kaduna last month, part of inter-communal violence between ethnic Fulani herders and pastoral farmers.
Earlier this month, ten school children were also kidnapped in central Kaduna, though eight later managed to escape two weeks after their abduction.
Catholic priests are also targeted for kidnappings.
As well as battling criminal gangs, Nigeria’s armed forces are also fighting a 14-year-long jihadist conflict in the northeast of the country and simmering separatist tensions in the southeast.