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Police yesterday confirmed the killing of 15 persons and kidnap of six women by gunmen in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The state Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Muhammad Shehu, made the confirmation in a statement in Gusau.

It was reported that the gunmen killed Senator Kabiru Marafa’s elder sister and abducted her husband, Alhaji Ibrahim, who is the district head of Ruwan Baure.

Shehu said that on Monday, there were attacks in Wonaka, Ajja, Mada, Ruwan Baure, Doka, Takoka and Tudun-Maijatau villages of Mada District in Gusau area.

The PPRO said a woman was among the persons killed, adding that the attackers also kidnapped six women and a man.

He said: “Fortunately, with the efforts of police and sister security agencies, the abducted women have regained their freedom and have re-joined their families.

“Normalcy has been restored to the affected villages, with improved deployment of PMF, CTU, Special Forces and Military teams to the area to forestall further attack on neighbouring villages.

“The attack is presumably a reprisal to the attack on some Fulani in a J5 vehicle on February 1, 2019 where seven Fulani and their animals were killed and set ablaze by the outlawed ‘Yansakai.”’

In another development, the PPRO said that the District Head of Gwashi in Bukkuyum Local Government Area reported to the police that bandits stormed Batauna village and killed 11 persons and set houses ablaze.

Shehu, however, said the details were sketchy to the police due to distance and terrain inaccessibility and lack of GSM coverage in area.

He said: “Units of PMF/CTU/Special Forces and military were mobilised to complement the effort of security personnel already on ground and also confirm the authenticity of the report.

“The entire area and environs have been subjected to co-ordinated bush-combing for possible arrest of the perpetrators.

“The command urges members of the public to avoid taking laws into their hands and always report all complaints and grievances to constituted authority for legal redress.

“Discreet investigation into this dastardly act has already commenced and all perpetrators will be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended its state campaign rally indefinitely in the state.

Announcing the suspension, its governorship candidate, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, said that the party found it necessary to close down its campaign activities to sympathise with families of those killed by the bandits.

Matawalle condemned the attack and the killing at the country home of Senator Marafa.

According to him, the recent attacks in several towns and villages in the state were a clear failure of the federal and state governments, especially now when people were set for election.

He said: “We are concerned with the current security challenge, especially, as we are approaching election. Therefore, if government is serious, it ought to take necessary action to tackle the menace.

“In fact, we at PDP received the killing of Senator Marafa’s elder sister, Hajiya Ade Marafa, and the abduction of her husband, Alhaji Ibrahim, the district head of Ruwan Baure by the bandits with deep sorrow and sympathy as such we resolved to suspend our campaign rally till further notice.”

A resident of Mada village, Aliyu Bawa, said the bandits about 6p.m. on Monday, stormed the communities of Ruwan Baure, Tudun Wadan Mai Jatau and Takoka, killed many people and set houses and food items ablaze.

Bawa added that the bandits killed 13 people in Tudun Wadan Mai Jatau village and set many houses and large quantities of food stock ablaze.

In Ruwan Baure community, it appeared that the specific target was Senator Marafa’s elder sister.

Witnesses said the killers forced a rifle into her mouth and shot her to death. Thereafter, the hoodlums abducted her husband and a boy who is related to the family.

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