Kaduna State government on Thursday confirmed the killing of 31 villagers by terrorists who attacked about three villages.
“The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses,” Kaduna State commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan in a statement.
Aruwan, however, denied reports that the terrorists were aided by a helicopter to attack communities and kill villagers.
“While the Government mourned the gruesome killing and burning of houses in the attacked locations, a report was published suggesting that the victims of the attack were killed by terrorists using a helicopter.
“The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.”
Terrorists on Wednesday attacked the villages of Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Ungwan Maikori in Kajuru local government area on Sunday.
Aruwan said the “bandits stormed the area in large numbers on motorcycles and proceeded to raze several houses, as they attacked and killed locals.
“An Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.
“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.”
Aruwan said the arrival of the air asset deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village, after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses.
“The Government of Kaduna State having gone through all the facts, finds it regrettable that a section of media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law and order.”
He said eyewitnesses cited in the report that a helicopter aided bandits in the killing of citizens are invited to present their accounts with facts to the government.
Aruwan disclosed that security forces have conducted vigorous operations in the area, and are on the trail of a wounded notable terrorist.
“Similarly, several kidnapped victims, including an expatriate kidnapped at a mining site, were rescued after a fierce engagement with bandits,” Aruwan said, adding that Governor Nasir El-Rufai expressed deep sadness and conveyed condolences to the families of the victims.