The Nigerian Army has confirmed an attack by bandits on a mosque in Kwata community in the Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State during which some worshippers were abducted during the Laylatul Qadr prayer.
The army noted that its troops of 17 Brigade and personnel of the Nigeria police fought to restore normalcy and to rescue some of the abducted persons, but the bandits escaped with some other victims.
SaharaReporters had on Monday gathered that the incident happened around 12am in Kwata, during which at least 40 worshippers were abducted.
BREAKING: Bandits Storm Mosque In Katsina, Abduct 40 Worshippers | Sahara Reporters— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) May 10, 2021
Katsina, despite being the home state of President @MBuhari, has witnessed sporadic attacks by bandits and kidnappers that have claimed the lives of many.
READ MORE: https://t.co/nCGMenevNY pic.twitter.com/v3KMKJuume
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, stated that the troops were on the trail of the abducted victims.
He said, “Troops of 17 Brigade, Nigerian Army in conjunction with personnel of the Nigeria Police Force averted a planned attack by armed bandits on Magama Central Mosque in Jibia LGA of Katsina State where several locals had gone to observe the late night Ramadan prayers.
“The incident which occurred in the early morning hours of 10 May 2021 witnessed a large number of bandits who came firing sporadically in an attempt to distrupt the prayers and abduct innocent worshippers. But they were forced to withdraw in disarray as they were met with overwhelming firepower from a combined team comprising troops and police personnel who were tactically deployed in the town following earlier Intelligence received on the planned attack.
“However, while the troops maintained vigilance to forestall further attack on the mosque, the fleeing criminals whose main intent was not actualised while retreating decided to raid a local mosque on the outskirts of Jibia town where they kidnapped some persons.
“On getting the information, the combined team mounted a pursuit on the bandits, forcing them to abandon most of the hostages while fleeing with an unknown number. The rescued victims have since been reunited with their families while further efforts are ongoing to rescue the others in collaboration with neighbouring military establishments including those of Niger Republic.
“Late night prayers are very common among the Muslim faithfuls particularly in the last days of the Holy Ramadan season. The situation in Jibia is under control as reinforcements have since arrived the area in order to facilitate the rescue efforts. The local inhabitants are advised to go ahead with their normal business and report any suspicious activity to the security agency nearest to them.”
SaharaReporters noted that no fewer than 300 people have been reportedly killed by the gunmen in Jibia, Kankara, Dutsinma, Musawa, Danmusa and Safana local government areas.
On December 11, 2020, some bandits also kidnapped 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara. They were released about a week later.