Two persons have died following an attack by bandits in Makoro Iri village, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who disclosed this via a statement on Saturday, said that the bandits invaded the remote village and shot dead the duo identified as Gideon Mumini and Barnabas Ezra.
In a similar development, troops of Operation Safe Haven have rescued three travellers from armed bandits along the Gidan Waya- Godogodo road in Jema’a Local Government Area.
The travellers were abducted by the bandits who barricaded the road. Troops, however, responded to a distress call and pursued the bandits, rescuing the three victims and also recovering the vehicle which they were travelling in.
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has noted with sadness the report of the attack in Makoro Iri village and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls, as he sends his condolences to their families.
READ ALSO: Legendary Musician Sir Victor Uwaifo Is Dead
The Kaduna governor also commended the troops for the swift response to rescue the three kidnap victims.
Kaduna and other states in the North-West and North-Central have been caught up in a surge in violence from heavily armed criminal gangs who loot villages, steal cattle and carry out mass kidnappings.
The violence has its roots in years-long tensions and tit-for-tat raids between farmers and nomadic herders over grazing land and water resources.
But insecurity has worsened since criminal gangs emerged. Most of them are based in vast forests across Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states.
The criminal gangs, also known as bandits, often attack in large numbers and arrive on motorbikes.
Typically motivated by financial gain, they have been targeting schools and colleges, kidnapping students and pupils for ransom.
The armed forces have carried out operations and airstrikes on their camps, which are hidden deep in the forests that span Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger States, but violence has escalated.
In July, the Air Force said bandits had shot down one of its jets as it was carrying out operations in Zamfara state. The pilot ejected and escaped.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former soldier first elected in 2015, has warned paying ransoms will provoke more kidnappings. Some local governors have tried to negotiate amnesty deals to stop the attacks, though those accords have mostly failed.
In the northeast of the country, there are signs of growing ties between the bandits and Islamic militants.
Nigeria’s 12-year-long Islamist insurgency has left over 40,000 people dead and forced around two million more from their homes in the northeast where another Boko Haram splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), is now the dominant armed group.
Boko Haram jihadist chief Abubakar Shekau was killed earlier this year during infighting with ISWAP militants in a major shift in the grinding conflict.
President Buhari has ordered military operations and air strikes on bandit camps but attacks have not stopped. Some local governors have attempted amnesty deals with the bandits but most have failed.