Less than 24 hours to the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, 66 people were on Friday killed by gunmen in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Among those killed are 22 children and 12 women.
A statement by Samuel Aruwan, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesman, did not give details of how the incident took place.
The Cable however reports that the killings occurred following a bloody clash between the Adara and Fulani communities in the area.
Sources said the problem started on Sunday night when gunmen invaded Angwan Barde, an Adara community, and killed 11 people, with several others injured.
On Monday, angry youth in the community were said to have embarked on reprisal attacks, leading to the bloodshed.
“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.
“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,” Aruwan said in a statement.