***as bandits kill 323, kidnap 949 in 3 months
By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Within the past 3 months in Kaduna state, military troops have neutralised 64 bandits and arrested several gunrunners disturbing peace in communities.
However, 323 persons were killed and 949 kidnapped by bandits in various communities across the state, within the period.
This was announced on Friday by the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, at an emergency security meeting in the state capital.
Aruwan, while presenting a report on the security situation in the state for the first quarter of 2021, said the report was on nefarious activities such as banditry, kidnapping, cattle-rustling, attacks, and reprisal attacks.
He said the report also covered the aerial missions conducted over-identified bandit hideouts and locations across the State.
He said during the mission, “multiple scores of bandits were engaged and neutralised, with their camps destroyed.”
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“Deaths linked to banditry, violent attacks, communal clashes, and reprisals in the first quarter total 323 across the State. Of this, 20 were women and 11 were minors.”
“Out of the 323 citizens killed, 292 were males. All 236 of the total deaths occurred in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, Giwa, and Kajuru LGAs.
“Birnin Gwari recorded the highest figure of 77 deaths, followed by Chikun with 52, Igabi 45, Giwa 42, Kajuru 20 deaths in the first quarter.
“Southern Kaduna Senatorial District had 68 deaths in total, of which 5 were women and two below the age of 18.
” Kajuru had 28 deaths, followed by Zangon Kataf with 14 and Kagarko with 12
“And the Northern senatorial zone is the least affected with 19 people killed and Zaria has the highest casualty of six.
“As earlier highlighted, 64 armed bandits were neutralised during engagements with ground forces.
“Multiple scores of bandits were neutralised via about 150 targeted aerial missions conducted by the Niger Airforce. These missions were initiated based on Credible intelligence of bandit activity and locations of camps, which were targeted and destroyed.
“Several gunrunners have been intercepted and arrested with arms and ammunition recovered in the first quarter. 36 AK47 Rifles, 1959 rounds of live ammunition and one rocket-propelled grenade were recovered.
“Vigorous investigations are ongoing towards dismantling more gun-running networks and block arms routes into the State, as these are central to the perpetuation of violence and armed banditry, through the trade in small arms and light weapons”.
The state government reiterated its empathy towards individuals and groups who have suffered a terrible loss and untold hardship as a result of violence and insecurity in the state.
The government also resolved to intensify efforts towards enduring peace and security across the state.