No less than 40 Muslim worshippers have been reportedly abducted by gunmen suspected to be bandits while observing Tahajjud, a midnight prayer observed during the Holy Month of Ramadan, at a Mosque in Jibiya town of Katsina State.
Residents of the town who narrated the incident, say dozens of gunmen struck at the mosque around 2am on Monday and took away the worshippers in the town which shares a close border with Niger Republic.
It was also gathered that the kidnappers initially picked 47 worshippers, including women and children, but seven later returned.
“So far, we have established that 40 people are missing after the attack,” a resident, who preferred not to be named, said.
Another resident who gave his name as Lawal Jibiya, said neighboring villagers alerted them about the impending attack after sighting the movements of the bandits heading towards the town.
Jibiya added that hundreds of youth and local vigilante groups in the town were on alert and ready to confront the bandits, but the assailants changed their route and entered the town from another point.
“We were expecting them from the eastern entry point through Daddara, Kukar Babangida or Magama, but this time, they proceeded beyond the town and camped at Jibawa.
“From Jibawa they then went round to the western entry point near Yunusa Dantauri Hospital and attacked a mosque on the outskirt of the town.
“They kidnapped the worshippers while observing their Tahajjud prayers at the Jibiya Mosque without firing a single shot.”
Calls and messages by Ripples Nigeria to the Katsina State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Gambo Isah, to comment on the alleged abductions, went unanswered and unreplied as at the time of this report.
By Isaac Dachen…
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