Bandits killed no fewer than nine travellers, including infants, in Zankoro village along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna highway on Sunday.
Also, a total of 11 people were kidnapped by the bandits on the same day at Dan Kungi village in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
This was contained in a statement by the chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Progressives Union, Mr Salisu Haruna, on Monday.
The statement titled, ‘Alarming rise of banditry and killings in Birnin Gwari general area,’ added that more than 40 persons were abducted by the bandits between December 20, 2020 and January 4, 2021, adding that “some of them (abductees), have been reported terribly ill.”
The statement read in part, “The New Year 2021 has begun in sorrow and tears for the people of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“On Sunday, 3rd January, 2021, bandits laid siege on innocent travellers at Zankoro, along dreaded Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highway, killing nine people (including three infants) that are on their way for a ceremony at Doka, Birnin-Gwari LGA.
“Similarly, the bandits came out today, Monday, January 4, 2021 at the same Zankoro around 9am, shooting indiscriminately and abducting unspecified number of people and wounding six others that are now receiving treatment at Buruku.
“In the last two weeks, bandits terrorising the people of Birnin Gwari, especially those travelling along Birnin Gwari-Funtua and Birnin Gwari-Kaduna highways have become intensely aggressive as they continue to kill and abduct innocent citizens unabated.
“There are more than 40 abductees currently at the mercy of the bandits who were kidnapped between December 20, 2020 and Monday January 4, 2021; some of them have been reported terribly ill.
“A total of nine innocent travellers were killed at Zankoro along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna highway on Sunday, January 3, 2021. A total of 11 people were kidnapped at Dan Kungi village on Sunday January 3, 2021.
“BEPU, therefore, calls on the government to deploy immediate response squad to mount offensive operations along Birnin Gwari, Kaduna and Birnin Gwari-Funtua highways.”
However, a call put across to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Jalige, rang out and there was no reply to a text message sent to his mobile phone.