At least 25 people, including women and children, were reportedly killed as bandits attacked a gathering of Maulud celebrants in Kusa, a community in Musawa LGA of Katsina State.
This is even as no fewer than 15 rice farmers from the Zabarmari community of Borno State, who were harvesting crops in Karkut, Bulabulin and Koshebe in Mafa LGA of the state, were said to have been killed following a clash between suspected Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.
There were conflicting figures as to the number of fatalities in the Katsina attack, as locals said 25 were killed, even as the police said seven victims were shot on the spot, while 18 injured were evacuated to the hospital in Musawa.
In Borno, the police confirmed the attack but could not specify the death figure, saying they would make that known in due course.
The Maulud celebrants were said to be from different villages of the state, including Rugar Kusa in Musawa Local Government and Gidan Malamai, as well as Yar Unguwa in Matazu LGA.
Several others sustained gunshot injuries, with no fewer than 17 admitted at the Katsina General Teaching Hospital for bullet extraction and others admitted at the Musawa General Hospital for treatment of injuries.
A father of one of the victims, Malam Salisu, said they heard gunshots around 10:30 pm while their children were attending Maulud celebrations, during which he said 23 people were killed and 16 others injured, including his 9-year-old son.
“We brought the 16 injured victims to the hospital, but two died along the way, making the number of dead 25,” he said, adding that before the arrival of security forces, the attackers had fled back to their hideouts.
Another victim, who survived with a gunshot injury in his arm and a machete cut in his knee, was taken to the Federal Teaching Hospital in Katsina, where he was admitted.
Narrating his ordeal, he said, “They surrounded us and started shooting. When people began to run for their lives, they shot and killed some while using knives to slaughter others.
“They shot my arm and used a machete to inflict this injury in my knee while they were saying this should be a sign for us as our people were lying dead,” he said.
Governor Dikko Umar Radda of Katsina State was in the affected communities to commiserate with the victims and their families.
He restated his administration’s resolve to tackle the problem of banditry and other criminalities in the state.
Also, the member representing Musawa/Matazu federal constituency, Abdullahi Aliyu Ahmed (Talban Musawa), who visited the affected villages as well as the hospital to commiserate with the victims and their families, described the situation as pathetic.
“These are people who don’t even have basic social amenities, yet they are not allowed to live their lives in peace. It is really pathetic, and we will definitely come to their rescue by providing these social amenities as well as ensuring their security,” he said.
Ahmed said more than 20 people were reported missing and he donated some cash to support victims both in the villages and at the hospital.
Confirming the incident via a press release, the police spokesman in Katsina, ASP Abubakar Sadiq Aliyu, said the bandits attacked, shot seven on the spot, and injured 18 other people who were evacuated to the hospital in Musawa.
“They were evacuated to the hospital for treatment. Later on, two of them died. Further investigation is ongoing to bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice,” he said.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 15 rice farmers from the Zabarmari community who were harvesting their crops in Karkut, Bulabulin, and Koshebe in Mafa LGA of Borno State were killed following a clash between suspected Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists, Daily Trust reports.
Recall that Zabarmari is a farming community located about 25 kilometres from Maiduguri town, where the massacre of 110 rice farmers took place on November 28, 2020.
A security source told our correspondent that the rice farmers were abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on Saturday with the intent of collecting ransom from their families.
“However, some ISWAP terrorists arrived at the place and asked the Boko Haram insurgents to release the poor farmers.
“An argument ensued between them, which led to a clash that started at 4:30pm and raged up to 11:00pm. Unfortunately, the Boko Haram terrorists vented their anger on the poor farmers and slaughtered them.
“So far, we have recovered 11 corpses from the bush; three that sustained deep cuts were taken to the specialist hospital in critical condition,” he said.
The Head of Zabarmari community, Bulama Dan Hassan, confirmed the incident, saying they recovered 11 bodies from the bush and buried them according to Islamic rites.
“We recovered 10 people from the rice fields where the incident happened and later found another, making 11. We are still searching for some missing farmers,” he said.
Also, the chairman of the Zabarmari Rice Farmers Association confirmed the incident, saying that 10 of his slain members killed by the insurgents were buried.
“Three others who survived the attack with injuries were taken to the hospital in Maiduguri in critical condition,” he said.
Our correspondent, who visited the hospital, saw one of the victims rushed into the emergency operation room by a team of doctors.
His relative, Muhammad Salisu, said they found him with over nine cuts on his face, neck and chest.
“I believe they all were convinced he’s dead that’s why they left him soaked in blood. And we found him on the field the following morning,” he said.
The Borno State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Nahum Daso Kenneth, confirmed the incident, saying the command was still gathering information on the attack.