In a brazen attack, gunmen suspected to be bandits, dressed as security operatives, abducted 31 villagers in Tashar Nagule village of Batsari local government area, Katsina State.
The incident unfolded in a coordinated manner, with armed men appearing in military uniforms on Sunday night.
A witness recounted the harrowing experience, stating, “I was sitting outside with some of my friends around 9 pm when we first heard gunshots. We stood up to run from the place, but the terrorists shouted that we should stop because they were security agents sent to protect us.”
Exploiting the guise of security personnel, the assailants deceived residents, causing them to gather at the village square. The witness explained,
“They knew that when they said they were policemen or soldiers sent to protect us, we would believe them, and that was what happened.”
As the residents were circled by the intruders, they were directed to follow the assailants into the forest. The witness managed to escape and raised the alarm, revealing the bandits’ true identity.
He added, “As of now (Monday morning), we have counted 31 people who had been taken away.”
Batsari Local Government Area has witnessed recurrent bandit attacks, prompting many residents to flee to urban centers for safety.
Despite the gravity of the situation, the Katsina State Police Command had not issued an official statement at the time of this report.
The incident underscores the persistent threat posed by banditry in the region and the challenges faced by residents.