Katsina attack: Death toll may exceed 100 as govt urges residents to confront terrorists
There are concerns the death toll, following clash between terrorists and vigilantes in Bakori Council of Katsina State, might have exceeded 100, sources said.
More bodies have been recovered in the past four to five days, even as some of the injured persons have succumbed to their injuries.
The sources said several community members remain unaccounted for, as their search for them at relations’ houses and hospitals did not yield positive results.
A resident of the affected community said more than 60 persons were buried on Friday while over 30 corpses were brought in on Saturday, adding that more bodies were being anticipated.
Worried about the development, Governor Aminu Masari, on Sunday, sent a delegation, led by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Muntari Lawal, to commiserate with families of deceased persons.
The delegation visited communities affected by the incident, including Guga, Yargoje and Gidan Gamji, where Lawal described the situation as “highly tragic for both victims and their families, as well as for the state government.”
The SSG urged the residents to defend themselves during terrorists’ attacks, rather than wait solely for intervention from government and security agencies.
Lawal said: “The actual number of those killed cannot be ascertained because the dead are still being counted. Nobody can tell you the accurate figure because some of the bodies are scattered in the bush; people have to go and retrieve them.
“As we are counting the number, so are the bandits. So, people should learn to be courageous enough to confront the devils before they (devils) finish them off. Don’t wait for government. Before government intervenes the damage has been done. So, organise yourselves to confront them.”
Also, the state government, on Friday, announced plans to inaugurate a commission of inquiry to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the killings.
Recall that on Wednesday night, February 1, terrorists, in their numbers, struck at a community in Bakori, carting away an unspecified number of cattle.
Vigilantes, also referred to as Yansakai, from the area, mobilised and went after the attackers with the aim of recovering the animals.
Some informants, however, were said to have alerted the terrorists about the vigilantes’ movement. The attackers, thereafter, laid an ambush, where they killed 41 vigilantes.
Spokesperson for the Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, while confirming the death toll, added that some of the vigilantes sustained injuries and were treated in a hospital.