Soldiers are said to have killed 74 cows at a Fulani camp at Riyawa village in Sabon Birni, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
A resident, Sanusi Bara, told newsmen yesterday that “On 17th November, 2018 at about 6:00am soldiers stormed a Fulani camp at Riyawa Sabon Birni area of Kaduna and killed about 74 cows. They also burnt down three houses and some crops that were harvested.”
Bara said two boys were missing adding that “The soldiers came with one Hilux and a Tata lorry all armed with sophisticated rifles and a machine gun.”
But the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General John Agim, in a press briefing yesterday, said the Riyawa area had been notorious as a den of bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers
He said: “Let me also address a recent allegation of killing 74 cows belonging to Fulani’s at Riyawa in Sabon Birni area. The Riyawa general area has been notorious as a den of bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers. Severally, troops had encounters with the bandits who use the difficult terrain and knowledge of the ground to escape. On 17 November 2018, based on intelligence, troops conducted a raid on bandit’s camps in the area. The bandits were alerted by their dogs.”
He said the army had observed that bandits used cows as a shield to escape while firing at troops saying “This was the case on 17 November 2018 which was not a deliberate act by the troops to kill the cows.”