- About 17 persons have been killed by gunmen who attacked Maza-Kukaand Kaboji villages in the Mashegu local government area of Niger state
- The victims, 16 of them, were reported shot by the armed men while observing prayer in the mosque in the early hours of Monday, October 25
- A resident who spoke anonymously said the incident has thrown many into a state of shock and confusion
Mashegu LGA, Niger state - Gunmen struck in Maza-Kuka in the Mashegu local government area of Niger state, killing about 17 persons in the early hours of Monday, October 25.
Channels TV reported that the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Matane, confirmed the incident.
Legit.ng gathers while the attack left three others injured, the whereabouts of about 18 villagers are unknown. They were said to have been abducted by the gunmen.
Matane explained that the gunmen killed 16 people in a mosque in MazaKuka and another one person in Kaboji village.
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He said that the assailants stormed Maza-Kuka in large numbers with dangerous weapons and went on a rampage, shooting sporadically.
According to the SSG, the victims in MazaKuka were killed very early on Monday morning while performing Subhi prayers inside the mosque.
The wounded and the abducted persons were among the faithful observing the prayers.
Matane disclosed that the state government has since deployed a team of military personnel to the area to flush out bandits hiding in the forest.
Mashegu LGA chairman reacts
Reacting, the chairman of Mashegu LGA, Alhassan MazaKuka, described the attack as devastating.
He also confirmed that one of those who were fatally injured has been referred to the IBB Specialist Hospital for medical attention.
Also reporting the incident, The Punch stated the attackers shot victims at closed range inside the mosque leading to the death of scores leaving many others injured.
The gunmen were reported to have stormed the community on motorbikes to carry out the gruesome attack.
An indigene of the community whose name was not disclosed said:
“We are surprised, confused and shocked over the attack.”
He added that they could not ascertain the actual casualties because many people had run into the bush for safety.
There is rise in bandits’ attacks, nobody is safe anymore - Niger commissioner
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Niger state commissioner for information, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Idris, expressed serious concern over the present economic situation of the state.
Idris said that the state is now under the siege of bandits which has paralysed economic and social activities in the affected areas.
The commissioner said:
“There is a rise in bandits’ attacks, nobody is safe anymore. We are already in a full-fledged war and there would certainly be casualties but we have taken measures to reduce the number of casualties on our side. The attacks are emanating from within communities not from bushes.”