BY SULE TAHIR
Bandits have again descended on worshipers in Katsina state killed five people and injured dozens during Taraweeh prayer at Unguwar Barebari village, Dukke Ward of Funtua Local Government Area, Katsina State.
A resident of the community, who lost a cousin and a nephew in the attack, told our reporter that the attackers came around 8:30pm during the Taraweeh prayers, dressed like normal persons.
“When they came they stationed themselves at different parts of the village and some close to the mosque during the Taraweeh prayer, they were dressed in such a way that one would assume they were normal residents of the village.
“Suddenly, they started shooting sporadically and scared residents.
“There is a place called Gidan Ruwa, where our people usually rush to, to take refuge whenever there is an attack. Unfortunately, the attackers blocked the place and started calling people to the place as if they were residents. That is where my cousin was killed.
“They killed three other people at different spots and the fifth one, who is my nephew, was taken to a hospital in Zaria, where he eventually gave up. We buried him this afternoon,” he said.
Another resident, who corroborated the narrative, said about 20 other people sustained gunshot injuries during the attack.
He said the attack was the first in which people were killed as the villagers were hitherto being kidnapped for ransom.
“In the past, a notorious bandit in Zamfara state that I could not recall his name, placed a levy on the village, promissing that we would never be killed by any bandit. But despite several payments that we have made, they used to kidnap our people and collect ransom. They didn’t actually kill anyone until this time,” he said.
He added that during the attack, some military operatives showed up and chased the bandits away.
When contacted, the police spokesman in Katsina, CSP Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident. He, however, said the intial report received by the command was that one person who sustained gunshot injuries, died at a hospital and several others were also injured.
“Yes, we have received the report which says one person who sustained gunshot injuries died at a hospital. But since others too have suffered gunshot injuries, the casualty figure could possibly rise. I will inquire from the DPO of the area for an update,” he said.