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General News of Friday, 10 June 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

Kaduna confirms killing of 32, debunks aerial attack by terrorists

Kaduna State governor, El-Rufai Kaduna State governor, El-Rufai

The Kaduna state government has debunked reports that terrorists used a helicopter to kill 32 people in an attack on four communities in the Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.

The Adara Development Association (ADA) had alleged in a statement on Wednesday that terrorists invaded four communities in Kajuru LGA, with a helicopter, killing 32 people.

The statement signed by the President of ADA, Awemi Maisamari, said during the attack, “The valiant natives who came out in large numbers from neighbouring villages were already driving back the invaders and taking control of the situation when a helicopter appeared.

“To the horror of the natives, the white-painted helicopter faced the brave natives instead and started gunning the youths from the air, clearly leaving out the killers who can be distinctly identified by the mode of dressings and from their positions…”

However, the Kaduna state government, while confirming the killing of the 32 people in the attacked communities, said the story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals was not true.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, explained in a statement yesterday that, “an helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two communities and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire."

He said the helicopter intercepted the bandits at the Ungwan Maikori community and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.

Aruwan said the Kaduna State Government had initially received reports from security agencies, that bandits attacked the villages of Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Ungwan Maikori in Kajuru LGA on Sunday.

He said the security report indicated that the bandits stormed the area in large numbers on motorcycles and proceeded to raze several houses, as they attacked and killed locals.

The commissioner said: “Since the attack on Sunday, security agencies and traditional leaders in the locations have been updating the government on the development.

“As of the time of this report, 32 persons have been confirmed dead following the attack.”

He said: “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 is not true.

“The Kaduna State Government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday.

“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.”

According to him, “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.

“It was the arrival of the air asset which 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 story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.

“The Government of Kaduna State having gone through all the facts finds it regrettable that a section of the media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law and order.”

Aruwan said further, “Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the Government-backed by incontrovertible facts.

“The military, police and other agencies working in the general area deserve commendation and motivation, rather than demoralizing allegations”.

He said: “In the last 72 hours, security forces have conducted vigorous operations in the same general 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.”

He said Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i, has expressed deep sadness over the attacks and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims while praying for the repose of their souls.

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