No fewer than 66 persons have been killed in a fresh outbreak of violence in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna state.
The killings reportedly took place in eight settlements across the local government area. Women and children were listed among the victims.
In a statement, the Kaduna state government condemned the killings, warning communities against instigating attacks or reprisals.
“Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements on various dispersed hamlets in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru LGA,” read a statement issued by Sam Aruwan, spokesman of the governor.
“The settlements affected include Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.
“Government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims. Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made. Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies. The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.
“Residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the security agencies in person.”