Bandits have killed at least 41 members of vigilante group and residents in an ambush in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Scores of others were also injured in the attack.
However, residents of the affected communities put the number of those killed at 58 and expressed fear that more corpses could be recovered from the area as some were still missing.
Daily Trust quoted a resident of Yargoje, a village few kilometres from the scene of the incident, who identified himself simply as Abdullahi, to have said, “About 43 people were recovered from the area and other dead bodies are yet to be recovered as other known persons have been missing.”
Also, a resident of Kankara who pleaded anonymity said about 50 corpses were initially deposited at the Kankara hospital in two batches of 24 and 26 while eight more were said to have been recovered from the battle zone.
He said about 30 injured persons were also receiving medical attention at the hospital.
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that some vigilante members alongside some residents had on Thursday evening around 5.30pm moved to a location in Unguwar Gamji community, Kankara Local Government Area, with a view to recovering some domestic animals that the terrorists had rustled and kept there.
Sources said unknown to the vigilante members and those who accompanied them, the terrorists who came through Bakori, were aware of their presence and had already laid ambush for them.
The police in Katsina however put the number of the casualties at 41 in a statement issued by the Command’s spokesperson, SP Gambo Isah.
“On Wednesday, 1/02/2023 at about 2200hrs, terrorists in their numbers, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles, attacked the house of one Alhaji Muntari, at Unguwar Audu Gare, Kandarawa, Bakori LGA, and rustled fifty (50) cows and thirty (30) sheep.
“Subsequently, on Thursday, 2/02/2023, at about 10:00hrs, Yansakai outlawed a group, from eleven (11) villages from Bakori LGA, regrouped and went after the terrorists with a view to recover the rustled domestic animals. They traced the footpath of the hoodlums to a location at Yargoje forest.
“Unfortunately, the terrorists planned and launched a coordinated ambush on the Yansakai. The hoodlums shot and killed forty-one (41) Yansakai and wounded two (2). Area commander, Malumfashi, led a team of policemen to the scene and recovered the corpses and injured to Kankara General Hospital. A joint security operation is currently ongoing with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book. Investigation is ongoing, please,” the statement read.