At least 14 people, mostly children, have been killed and 19 others wounded after bandits invaded Maulud Celebration Ground in Rugar Kusa Community, Musawa Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The attack, which appears to be a reprisal and lasted for over an hour, saw the hoodlums abduct at least 20 residents to an unknown destination.
Eyewitnesses reported that the bandits arrived at the celebration venue on Sunday and began shooting with sophisticated weapons to scare the residents.
Six of those killed were from the Rugar Kusa Community, two from Gidan Malamai, and six from Yar Unguwa of Musawa and Matazu LGAs.
Those injured are receiving treatment in both Musawa General Hospital and the Federal Teaching Hospital, Katsina.
One eyewitness, Abdulaziz Ibrahim, told reporters that 60 children were attending the celebration when the bandits stormed the venue, after which the hoodlums started visiting house to house to abduct other innocent people, mostly women.
“One of the bandits first passed across the Maulud venue and called my name; after I answered him surprisingly, the next thing I heard was twin gunshots arising from different directions. I quickly fell down from my chair and crawled down towards the backyard.
“After the bandits surrounded the venue of the celebration, they fired gunshots at the participants, injuring many and abducting several others. After they eventually left the area, we found the corpses of our students lying down in flooding blood.
“We called for reinforcement from the police and other security forces but before they responded to the distress call, the hoodlums had left into the nearby forest, which serves as their hideouts.
“We are happy that, the governor was here with us this morning for a sympathy visit where, he assured us that, banditry has come to an end in Katsina State,” he noted.
The residents, however, appealed to the state government and other security agencies to intensify the fight against bandits and their collaborators, as security, according to them, had started improving in the state.
The police spokesman, Abubakar Aliyu, when contacted, also confirmed the incident, stating that seven people were shot dead and eighteen sustained gunshot injuries and have been evacuated to General Hospital Musawa for immediate medical attention.
Aliyu also noted that two people out of the injured were confirmed dead by the doctor while receiving treatment, adding that the investigation is still ongoing and efforts are on with a view to arresting the perpetrators of the dastardly act.