Suspected terrorists on motorcycles in the early hours of Sunday attacked two churches – the Maranatha Baptist Church and the St. Moses Catholic Church, all in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, The PUNCH reports.
The state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union have expressed sadness over the fresh attacks.
Our correspondent gathered that in the Sunday attacks, three worshippers were killed while several others were abducted by the terrorists.
“Three worshippers were gunned down by the terrorists and many are still missing. One of the victims was taken to St. Gerald Catholic Hospital in the state capital,” a source said.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attacks on the two churches on Sunday.
The commissioner, in a statement, disclosed that the terrorists attacked worshippers at Ungwan Fada, Ungwan Turawa, Ungwan Makama and Rubu villages in Kajuru LGA.
The commissioner gave the identities of the worshippers killed as Peter Madaki (Ward head of Ungwan Fada), Elisha Ezekiel (resident of Ungwan Fada) and Ali Zamani (youth leader of Rubu).
The statement titled, ‘Bandits attack worshippers, locals, kill three and injure two in Kajuru LGA,’ read, “Security agencies have reported to the Kaduna State Government that bandits attacked worshippers and locals at Ungwan Fada, Ungwan Turawa and Ungwan Makama in Rubu general area of Kajuru Local Government.
“According to the report, the bandits stormed the villages on motorcycles, beginning from Ungwan Fada, and moving into Ungwan Turawa, before Ungwan Makama and then Rubu.
“In Rubu village, the bandits attacked worshippers in the Maranatha Baptist Church and St. Moses Catholic Church.
“Two persons were left injured in the attacks: one Aniro Mai, and a yet-to-be identified woman. An unspecified number of locals were also kidnapped, according to the received reports.
“The bandits looted shops and carted away some valuables from the villages.”
He quoted the state Acting Governor, Hadiza Balarabe, to have expressed deep sadness over the matter.
SOKAPU expresses sadness
Reacting to the attack, the spokesman of SOKAPU, Mr Luka Binniyat, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “SOKAPU is deeply saddened by this act of violence carried out with uncanny impunity. This impunity is feeding on the fact that the said armed herdsmen, who seem to take this criminality like a gory hobby, knew that whatever they did would not attract any sanction from the state.
“It is exactly two weeks since these armed herdsmen attacked four Adara villages in the same Kajuru LGA, aided with a gun-mounted helicopter, (according to the account survivors), and killed 32 citizens.
“As of today, 27 persons were kidnapped in the attack. The kidnappers have placed a ransom of N500, 000 on each hostage from what we have been told.”
Also, the Vice Chairman of CAN, Kaduna State chapter, Chris Annger, told The PUNCH that the terrorists, apart from killing three worshippers, made away with 33 worshippers during the Sunday service.
He said, “This is very awful and highly unreasonable for these terrorists to invade a house of God and perpetrate this evil.
“We condemn this in strong terms. The attacks on churches are increasingly irritating; we ask the agencies charged with the responsibility for protecting Nigerians to live up to their responsibilities.
“I also encourage Christians in the state to do the needful, be vigilant and ready to defend themselves both at their homes and in places of worship.
“We call on all Nigerians to support victims of these attacks and provide support to assuage their pains. May God continue to have mercy on Kaduna State.”