Gunmen suspected to be bandits have abducted several Muslim worshippers during an attack at the central mosque in Zugu town, Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Zamfara Mosque Attacked
Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency publication, said that the gunmen who disguised as worshippers, invaded the mosque at about 1:30 pm on Friday.
“Many worshipers scampered for safety amidst sporadic shooting by the insurgents. The bandits surrounded the remaining worshippers and took them to away,” a witness was reported as saying.
Abdulkareem Bilyaminu, a resident, also reportedly said the deputy chief imam was among those abducted by the gunmen.
“The armed group followed to the eastern location of Zugu village, heading towards Gando forest,” Bilyaminu was quoted as saying.
A resident simply identified himself as Abubakar told Daily Trust that the armed men hid their guns inside their clothes and stormed the mosque when the Imam was about to start delivering sermon.
He said, “When they laid siege, they asked those outside to go into the mosque told worshippers that they had come to negotiate the release of some captives with them.
“No one saw them with guns and many people mistook them for worshippers. Nobody paid attention to them because they hid their guns. However, shortly after they moved inside the mosque, they brought out the rifles and fired some warning shots.
“They herded the congregants in to bush but some of the worshippers managed to scramble out of the mosque to safety. The muezzin was among those kidnapped but the Imam was able to escape the assault.
“Some those who were outside the mosque were also abducted because unknown to them that some armed men took positions outside. They fired several gunshots into the air and then moved to forest with the captives.”
Speaking with TheCable, Mohammed Shehu, Zamfara police spokesman, confirmed the attack on the village but said the command has not been able to ascertain if it was a mosque that was invaded as the community is in a remote location.
The spokesman said no one was killed in the attack, adding that the number of abducted persons is not yet known.
“We have a report stating that bandits abducted people from the village. It is a remote village, so we’re not sure if it’s a mosque that was attacked. Also, the number of people abducted has not been established and nobody was killed in the attack.
“The police operatives deployed in that axis are on search and rescue. They are also working to apprehend the perpetrators,” Shehu said.
KanyiDaily had also reported that the police arrested a former lance corporal with the Nigerian Army, Sa’idu Lawal, for allegedly supplying guns to bandits in Zamfara state.