The Kaduna State Government has denied reports that four communities in Kajuru Local Government Area were attacked by bandits with helicopter.
The Kaduna government confirmed that bandits invaded four communities in the local council but did not use helicopter during the attack.
News360 Info had on Wednesday reported that the Adara Development Association (ADA) said 32 residents were killed in an attack on the communities.
Awemi Maisamari, president of the association, had also alleged that “a white-painted helicopter” was involved in the attack on the residents.
Reacting to the claim, state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said the reports that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits were false and misleading.
In a statement in Thursday, Aruwan said the bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens and moved to Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses.
He added that an Air Force helicopter dispatched to the area intercepted the bandits at Ungwan Maikori and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.
The commissioner however said the state government mourned the victims of the attack and condole with their families.
The statement reads, “While the government mourned the gruesome killing and burning of houses in the attacked locations, a report published, suggesting that the victims of the attack were killed by terrorists using a helicopter, is not true.
The Kaduna State Government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday.
The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses.
An Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.
The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.
It was the arrival of the air asset which deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village, after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses.
The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.
The Government of Kaduna State having gone through all the facts finds it regrettable that a section of the media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law and order.
Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the Government-backed by incontrovertible facts.
The military, police and other agencies working in the general area deserve commendation and motivation, rather than demoralising allegations.”