The death toll from Saturday’s bandit attack at Runji Village in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State has risen to 33.
Chairman of the council, Francis Sani, made the disclosure, on Saturday.
He said that over 40 houses were burnt by the attackers while seven persons sustained injuries and are presently receiving treatment at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the 33 victims of the attack have been given a mass burial amidst tears by relatives and members of the community who gathered to witness the funeral service.
The residents called on the security agencies and the government to urgently stop the lingering insecurity in the southern part of Kaduna before they are completely wiped out.
It was gathered that the gunmen were said to have invaded the community around 10p.m., on Saturday and opened fire on the villagers, most of whom were asleep.
Some of the victims were said to have been burnt alive as the bandits set houses ablaze.
President of Atyap Community Development Association, ACDA, Samuel Ache, confirmed the incident.
It was gathered that the vigilantes in the community attempted to engage the attackers, but they were subdued.
The military task force was said to have, subsequently, intervened and repelled the bandits.
State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, spoke on the incident yesterday but did not state the casualty figure.
Aruwan said: “Several lives were lost and an unspecified number of houses burnt down. The military has informed the Kaduna State government of an attack in Runji village, Zangon Kataf LGA, in which several lives were lost on Saturday night.
“The preliminary report further informed the government that the attack also left some residents injured and an unspecified number of houses burnt down in the community.
“According to the report, troops had a fierce encounter with the attackers and are still in the general area.
“While waiting for a detailed report, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who received the preliminary report in the early hours of yesterday has condemned the killings as unacceptable and unjustifiable.
“The governor condoled the families that lost their loved ones and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
He said the Kaduna State government would update the public as soon as detailed reports were received from security agencies.
Zangon Kataf LGA, situated in southern Kaduna, has come under relentless bandit attacks in recent months.