Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Bandits kill soldier, abduct three in repeat attack on Kaduna community

The Gazette gathered that the assailants stormed the community around 12a.m. on motor bikes.

• January 24, 2021
Bandits used to illustrate the story
Bandits used to illustrate the story

Gunmen suspected to be bandits, in the wee hours of Sunday, stormed Wusasa, a suburb of the ancient city of Zaria, abducting three persons and killing a soldier during fire exchange.

The attack comes few days after a university don and his son were abducted in the same community.

The bandits reportedly killed a soldier and civilian during the operation which lasted over two hours, witnesses told Peoples Gazette Sunday afternoon.

The Gazette gathered that the assailants stormed the community around 12a.m. on motor bikes as they stationed some of their men in strategic areas.

“They came into Wusasa via Kufena axis of the community and mounted some of their men around the railway tracks.

“At about 1:22 a.m. we started hearing gunshots while they were trying to break into a retired lecturer’s house,” a source residing in the community told the Gazette under the condition of anonymity. 

The resident told our reporter that the assailants kidnapped Salleh Illiya, a retired lecturer with Federal College of Education (FCE), Zaria.

He disclosed that the abductors proceeded to the retired lecturer’s neighbourhood and abducted two siblings while they fatally shot their uncle who only came for a vacation.

The witness gave the name of one of the victim identified as Japhet Yakubu, 17, who had in last year December lost his father.

Another resident, Blessing Irabor told the Gazette that soldiers who were stationed few kilometres away from where the incident occurred entered the community to rescue the situation.

“They had fire exchange with military personnel who came to rescue the situation. The bandits killed one soldier during the gun battle that ensued and burned down their operational van. 

“They also went to Professor Aliyu Mohammed house who was kidnapped last week in search of his son who is a medical doctor but they did not see him.” Ms. Irabor said.

However, the Gazette learnt that the slain soldier is from Basawa military barracks in Zaria.

The Gazette, last week, had reported how gunmen abducted Mr. Mohammed, a senior lecturer in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi and fatally shot his teenage son, Abdullaziz Aliyu during the operation.

Another resident who spoke to this newspaper under anonymity said team of police operatives from the Danmagaji Division were unable to support the military while the gun battle lasted. 

He noted that the police parked their patrol van at a theological college, St. Francis, just about 300 metres away from where the bandits exchanged gun fire with the soldiers.

Several efforts to reach police spokesperson in Kaduna State and army spokesperson were unsuccessful as they did not return several calls and messages for comment.

The Sarkin Wusasa, Isiyaku Yusufu, confirmed the incident to Gazette on phone.

He disclosed that a member of one of the community’s vigilante group identified as Umar is among the victims abducted by the gunmen. He declined to give further details of the attack.

The onslaught of banditry and kidnapping activities has ravaged several communities across Kaduna. Most residents are living with fear as the brigands continue to carry out attacks in city centres.

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