The terrorists have intensified their attacks in rural communities of the state.
Thirteen worshippers are still being held in terrorists’ camps after they were abducted from a local mosque on Saturday night in Maigamji village of Funtua town in Katsina State.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the terrorists invaded the mosque around to 8 p.m. and asked the worshippers who were observing their night prayers “to follow them”.
Bashir Murtala, one of the worshippers who escaped, told this newspaper on the phone that the worshippers started running in different directions instead of following the terrorists.
He said the terrorists responded by shooting straight at the fleeing worshippers.
“I was in the third row inside the mosque. There was no light, so we were using a lamp and some people had put on their phone’s light. When the bandits started shouting that we should follow them, those in the last row and outside the mosque started running. The bandit standing in the front of the mosque started shooting. Our Chief Imam, Malam Yusha’u and some other worshippers were injured,” Mr Murtala said.
The Imam and the other worshippers are receiving medical attention in an undisclosed health facility in Funtua town. Mr Murtala said, “two of them are in critical state.”
19 abducted, six rescued
Mr Murtala said the terorrists succeeded in taking 19 worshippers.
He, however, said immediately after the terorrists took off with the captives, a group of vigilantes pursued them and managed to rescue six captives.
“We’ve some vigilante members in this community and when they heard gunshots, they quickly mobilized their friends from other nearby villages and followed the terrorists which led to the rescue of the six residents but thirteen are still with the bandits,” Mr Murtala said.
The police command spokesperson, Gambo Isa, in a statement to reporters confirmed the attack. He said those rescued where saved by the police and vigilante members.
“It’s true, the attack took place. The terrorists stormed the Mosque at Maigamji while people were observing prayers.
“They shot and injured the Imam and one other person. Those people are currently responding to treatment in a hospital.
“The terrorists also abducted some worshippers that night, but a combined team of the police and the vigilante rescued two of the victims that night. The security operatives also rescued four other victims on Sunday, making a total of six victims who have been rescued so far.
“Presently, 13 victims are still in the custody of the terrorists and our operatives are making serious efforts to ensure that they are rescued without any injury.”
At about the same time the the attack in Maigamji was happening, another group of terrorists was in Sayaya community of Matazu local government area of the state attacking innocent residents.
A retired federal civil servant, Hamisu Mamuda, was killed in his house with several other residents abducted.
Mr Mamuda, who retired as Zonal Director of the National Business and Technical Education Board, (NABTEB), was said to be the target of the attack.
A source who asked for anonymity for security reasons, said Mr Mamuda was the only one killed in the community.
“We believe he was the target. They abducted some people but he was not even given the luxury of being abducted or the choice to give them money, they just shot him dead. So, we believe he was the reason they came to our community,” the source, a top civil servant in the state government, said.
Mr Mamuda held the traditional title of Galadiman Ayyuka of Matazu before he was killed on Saturday.