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Bandits Invade Mosque, Shoot Imam, Abduct 18 Worshippers



No fewer than 18 worshippers were abducted by gunmen suspected to be terrorists on Saturday evening in a mosque in Maigamji village in Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State,disrupting Isha’i prayer that was being observed by worshippers on Saturday.

A former councillor of Maigamji ward in Funtua LGA of Katsina, Alhaji Lawal Maigamji, said the bandits opened fire on two people, including the Imam leading the prayers, and abducted 18 people. Some of the abductees later escaped, it was said.

He identified those shot as Malam Yusha’u, the Imam, and Hussaini Jamo, a worshipper, adding that they are both receiving treatment at a hospital in Funtua.

“They surrounded the mosque when Ishaa’i congregational prayer was being conducted, after shooting Imam Yusha’u and Hussaini Jamo, they abducted 18 people and made away with them into the bush,” Lawal Maigamji said.

He added that four of the abducted victims escaped from their captors while in transit.

In a related development, at least 31 people were reportedly abducted in Karare and Kokiya villages of Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State in the early hours of Friday.

The terrorists, which were said to number about 40 riding on motorcycles, invaded the village where they killed one person and abducted the people including women and children.

According to Daily Trust report, some of the abductees were students heading to the Government Day Secondary School, Karare from Kokiya village.
As of the time of compiling this report, residents of Karare and Kokiya villages were yet to ascertain the number of abducted victims.

Some residents who spoke to newsmen in Katsina expressed worry over the increasing spate of kidnappings for ransom, cattle rustlings and heinous killings of innocent people.

The chairman of Batsari Local Government area, Yusuf Yanji, who confirmed the kidnapping of of some residents, however, refuted the allegations of the students’ abduction, saying the story was unfounded.

When contacted for confirmation, the police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, said he would contact the DPO of the area and get back to newsmen.