The death toll in the Saturday’s attack and reprisal attack has risen to about 17 including a Police officer in communities of Zangon-Kataf in the southern part of Kaduna State.
LEADERSHIP earlier reported that about 10 corpses were discovered following the incident.
Trouble started in the area on Thursday last week when a young herder was tied to a tree and macheted to death by some locals around Ungwan Juju, LEADERSHIP gathered.
It was further gathered that the situation became compounded between Saturday morning and afternoon when a misunderstanding ensued between security operatives and some Fulani men at a checkpoint in Ungwan Wakili, which led to a Fulani man and a Policeman being shot at the checkpoint.
Also, later that evening, a group of youths, who went fishing, were attacked and one of them was said to have been macheted to death by herders in a reprisal attack.
A senior military source from the area told our Correspondent in confidence that: “On Thursday last week, one Umar Sambo (a herder) was killed while he was returning from grazing his cattle around Ungwan Juju in Zangon Kataf LGA.
“The killers tied the young herder up, matcheted him to death and hid the corpse in an unknown location. When his brother, identified as Safiyanu, could not find him, he reported to the security agents, who then launched a search operation. His body was finally discovered at Ungwan Juju.”
He said the security situation, which they were making efforts to manage, became compounded Saturday evening when there was a clash between security operatives and some Fulanis at a checkpoint in Ungwan Wakili, which led to the death of a Fulani man and a Policeman.
According to him, “Ungwan Wakili village of Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf LGA was attacked by unidentified persons around 8:40pm on Saturday, in an apparent reprisal attack following the killing of the herder earlier mentioned.
“Another suspected immediate cause of the Saturday night attack was the accidental shooting of a herder by a policeman at Ungwan Wakili Junction, the burning of herders’ motorcycles and the mob action which followed.”
He, however, added that by the time the Troops of Operation Safe Haven mobilised to the village to repel the attack, about 16 to 17 persons were already killed, with seven persons wounded. The wounded were taken to Zonkwa General Hospital for treatment.
“Also worthy of note is that, after after a policeman accidentally shot and injured a herder and a colleague at the checkpoint at Ungwan Wakili Junction, a mob action occurred in Ungwan Wakili.
“While the police evacuated the area, a crowd of locals and herders gathered at the scene, and in the confrontation that followed, one local was killed. Two motorcycles belonging to herders were burnt, while the attack on Ungwan Wakili village occurred a few hours later,” the security source explained.
Meanwhile, the local government authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in the affected communities to prevent further breakdown of law and order.