Gunmen Monday killed two people and burnt seven houses, a car and motorcycle in Wawan Rafi II Village, Zangon Kataf local government area of Kaduna state, the state government has said.
Announcing this in a statement, the state commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan said: “Security agencies have reported that armed bandits this morning attacked Wawan Rafi II village, in Zangon Kataf local government area.
“According to the report, two persons were killed in the attack, identified as Joshua Dauda and his seven-year-old son Philip Dauda. Also, seven houses, one car and one motorcycle were burnt in the attack.
“Security patrols mobilized to the area, repelled the assailants, who retreated into the forests adjoining the location. The troops recovered eight empty cases of 7.62mm ammunition at the scene of the attack.
“So far, two corpses have been retrieved. The citizenry will be updated on further developments.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai noted the reports with sadness, and prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed in the attack, while offering heartfelt condolences to their families,” Aruwan added.
In a related development, somegunmen Monday morning also reportedly killed four persons in Otuebu and Obodo Ocha villages, Umuogodo-Akpu Ngbo community in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state.
The attack which took place at about 4am came two weeks after herdsmen attacked Egedegede community, Ishielu local government area and killed many people.
The incident also came few weeks after over 20 persons were killed following an attack by suspected herdsmen in four villages in Ohaukwu local government area of the state.
The fresh attack
A source from the area reported that the attackers invaded the village and burnt down about seven houses, with many victims sustaining various degrees of injuries while vehicles and motorcycles were also burnt.
Reacting to the incident, the state Commissioner for Border Peace and Internal Security, Mr Stanley Emegha, said his office was yet to receive details of what happened, but that security personnel had repelled the attackers.
He said: “We are yet to know who attacked us. Some people that saw the attackers said they are herders that came from Benue axis. But no one knows for sure as we have had issues with Agila people there and the same spot was where a naval officer was killed.
“We want to be sure of the identity of the attackers before we say anything or even alert Benue state government.
“But one thing is certain; the state government has dispatched security personnel there. Soldiers have taken over the area and they have repelled the attackers.
“For now, we are getting conflicting reports as the soldiers say one thing and the natives say another. Whereas the people on ground said the attackers started coming from an area, the soldiers said another thing. Because when those people started firing, the soldiers repelled them. Somebody present said 3 were killed and soldiers are saying only one was killed.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Aliyu, who also confirmed the attack, said he was awaiting further information.
Troops neutralise scores
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has saidits troops supported by Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), aborted Boko Haram terrorists’ incursion into Damasak, Headquarters of Mobbar local government area of Borno state, killing scores in the process.
Director Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Mohammed Yerima, who said this Monday in a statement, said the feat was recorded Saturday.
He said the troops “engaged the terrorists with superior fire power both from the air and on the ground which compelled them to withdraw in disarray with several men and equipment casualty.”
The army spokesman said two gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while one officer and two other soldiers were injured in the encounter, noting that the injured were currently recuperating at a military hospital in Maiduguri.
He further said troops of Sector I, OPLD on picketing duty along Ngwom-Mafa-Maiduguri road had Sunday, killed seven members of Boko Haram terrorist group and recovered four AK-47 rifles.
Yerima said the terrorists were supposedly lying in wait to attack troops and innocent citizens plying the busy road.
“Troops who have continued to dominate the areas with massive clearance patrols and ambushes sprang the surprise attack on the terrorists that have been menacing the peace and livelihood of the people in the area.
“They, however, ran out of luck as they were instead trapped and neutralised in their own web. After the duel and successful neutralisation of the terrorists, the troops continued their clearance patrol up to Maiduguri.
“Meanwhile, troops of OPLD will continue to maintain aggressive posture to ensure the entire area is cleared of terrorists’ elements and their activities while maintaining high moral and fighting efficiency.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, has congratulated the gallant troops and urged them to maintain their high and satisfactory morale and fighting efficiency,” he said.
UN raises the alarm
Also, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has lamented the incessant attacks by Boko Haram on international aid partners’ facilities in the North-east.
In a statement Sunday, Kallon said three international aid partners’ facilities were directly targeted and set ablaze on Saturday by the terrorist group in Damasak, Borno state.
He decried the fact that the attack in Damasak would affect support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection.
“I am deeply concerned about recurrent reports of violent attacks by non-state armed groups putting the lives of civilians under risks.
“Last night and through the morning, a violent attack in Damasak town, in Borno state, was reported with three international aid partners’ facilities directly targeted, set ablaze, and sustained damage. I continue to be concerned about the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian workers,” the humanitarian coordinator stated.
He added that: “I strongly condemn the attack, as humanitarian aid operations and facilities are the lifeline for people affected by violence and conflict in North-east Nigeria who are dependent on assistance to survive.
“Humanitarian operations in Damasak will be reduced due to the violent attack, which will affect the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection there.”
He warned that civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target, stating: “They must always be protected and respected. I call on armed parties to observe and commit to international humanitarian law and human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel.
“I also appeal to our generous donors and stakeholders for support in funding the nine humanitarian hubs and to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) as these are vital enablers of the humanitarian operations in North-east Nigeria.
“I also appeal to donors to urgently continue their support for the Humanitarian Response Plan for North-east Nigeria in order to provide lifesaving and life sustaining support to some 6.4 million displaced people and host communities affected by the humanitarian crisis there.”