The Kaduna State Government has disclosed that 323 persons were killed, while 949 others were kidnapped by bandits in the last three months across Kaduna State.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, stated this on Friday while presenting a report on the security situation in the state at a security meeting held at the Government House, Kaduna.
Aruwan also said 64 bandits were neutralized by troops, while several gunrunners were arrested during the same period.
According to the commissioner, “The report covers banditry, kidnapping, cattle-rustling, attacks and reprisals.
“The report also includes the aerial missions conducted over-identified bandit hideouts and locations across the state, during which multiple scores of bandits were engaged and neutralized, with their camps destroyed.”
Giving the statistics of the killings, he said: “Deaths linked to banditry, violent attacks, communal clashes and reprisals in the first quarter totalled 323 across the state,” adding that 20 them were women and 11 were minors.
According to him, “Out of the 323 citizens killed, 292 were males. All the 236 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 and Kajuru 20 deaths in the first quarter.
“Southern Kaduna Senatorial District had 68 deaths in total, of which five 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.”
“Multiple scores of bandits were neutralized via about 150 targeted aerial missions conducted by the Niger Air Force.
“These missions were initiated based on credible intelligence of bandit activity and locations of camps, which were targeted and destroyed.”
He said further that: “Several gunrunners have been intercepted and arrested with arms and ammunition recovered in the first quarter. Thirty-six AK47 rifles, 1,959 rounds of live ammunition and one rocket-propelled grenade were recovered.”
He said investigations were ongoing towards dismantling more gun-running networks and block arms routes into the state as these are central to the perpetuation of violence and banditry.
The state government expressed empathy towards individuals and groups who have suffered terrible losses and untold hardship as a result of violence and insecurity, adding that efforts were being intensified towards ensuring lasting peace and security across the state.