Seventeen Killed in Renewed Clashes in Nigeria’s Northwest

A string of reprisal attacks in Zangon-Kataf, southern part of Kaduna State has resulted in the death of at least 17 persons including a Police Officer.

Fighting started on Thursday when a young herder was tied to a tree and butchered to death by some natives in Ungwan Juju.

It was learnt the situation worsened on Saturday afternoon when a misunderstanding arose between security operatives and some Fulani men at a checkpoint in Ungwan Wakili.

This led to the death of a Fulani man and a Policeman at the checkpoint.

Hours later, a band of young men who went fishing were attacked and one of them was said to have been macheted to death by the retaliating herders.

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A military source stated: “On Thursday last week, one Umar Sambo (a herder) was killed while he was returning from grazing his cattle around Ungwan Juju in Zangon Kataf LGA.

“The killers tied the young herder up, matcheted him to death and hid the corpse in an unknown location. When his brother, identified as Safiyanu, could not find him, he reported to the security agencies, who then launched a search operation. His body was finally discovered at Ungwan.”

He explained that while they were trying to manage the security situation, things degenerated on Saturday evening when there was a clash between security operatives and some Fulani at a checkpoint in Ungwan Wakili, which led to the death of a Fulani man and a Policeman.

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He further stated: “Ungwan Wakili village of Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf LGA was attacked by unidentified persons around 8:40PM on Saturday, in an apparent reprisal following the killing of the herder earlier mentioned. 

“Another suspected immediate cause of the Saturday night attack, was the accidental shooting of a herder by a policeman at Ungwan Wakili Junction, the burning of herders’ motorcycles and the mob action which followed.”

Troops of Operation Safe Haven quickly mobilised to the village to repel the attack but about 16 to 17 persons were already killed with seven persons severely wounded. 

The injured were moved to Zonkwa General Hospital for medical intervention. 

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The state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the affected communities to prevent further breakdown of law and order. 

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