Residents of the communities where terrorists massacred members of the vigilante groups last Thursday said the death toll rose to 102 as of Sunday night.
The terrorists ambushed members of local herdsmen groups in Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina as they chased the terrorists to recover cattle they dragged from their communities.
Although police said 41 people were killed, residents said the actual death toll in the ambush was double the number given by police.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the affected communities are under Guga, Kakumi, Kandarawa and Jargaba districts in Bakori, one of the worst affected by terrorist activities in the state.
A community leader in Guga town, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told PREMIUM TIMES on phone on Monday that 72 bodies had been recovered and buried as of Sunday night.
“We have counted 102 dead in our towns, but we have buried 72 people in the three districts of Guga, Kakumi and Kandarawa. We could not recover the other dead because most of them have decomposed while the terrorists killed those who followed them through the bush and we could not go because the bandits are still hiding,” he said.
He said among the dead were members who volunteered to chase the terrorists and other residents.
The community leader said some members of the family tried to contact their relatives by phone, but the terrorists answered the calls.
“They didn’t kidnap anyone; they don’t kidnap the members of the guard, they kill them immediately”, he said.
A resident of Kakumi community, Najibu Aminu, told PREMIUM TIMES on phone that the massacre has caused panic among the residents.
“The problem is that we don’t have enough weapons to protect ourselves because the police and the government have taken away our weapons in the name of peace. Our country is in a state of panic because of what has already happened. Who knows what will happen in the next few days because some terrorists were also killed in the fighting, so I am sure they will plan to come back and carry out a deadly attack,” he said.
This journalist gathered that the affected communities are: Garangozai, Gidan Wawu, Gidan Sarkin Noma, Gidan Tanko, Lain ‘Yannehu, Ungugar Danbaushi, Gidan Kanawa, Ungugar Gero, Ungugar Daga, Maiaydiya, Gangare, Gidan Cirai, Gidan Bawa, Gidan Aminu , Gidan Baushi and Gidan Gagare.
A leader of a group of Gods, who was also part of the clashes, told BBC Hausa that the terrorists overpowered them because they were armed.
“They have more weapons than us. You know our guns are mostly dans while they have AK 47 rifles and they outnumbered us too. We tried and fought for two days without reinforcements or help from the security agents in the area,” he said.
He told BBC Hausa that despite efforts to contact the security agents working with them in the area, the security men did not arrive until the next day as they were already dead.
The state police spokesman, Gambo Isa, could not be reached and did not respond to an SMS about the number of victims.
Accept PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. However, only good journalism can guarantee a good society, a responsible democracy and the possibility of a transparent government.
For free access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you make a modest contribution to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you’re helping to sustain journalism that matters and ensuring it’s free and accessible to everyone.
Text ad: Call Willie – +2348098788999