An early morning attack in Maza Kuka village, Mashegu local government area, Niger State, resulted in the deaths of 17 people in a mosque.
During Monday’s attack, another 18 people were reportedly kidnapped.
The gunmen arrived on motorcycles and fired sporadically into the air as residents performed their morning prayers.
According to sources, the gunmen opened fire on some of the victims, killing 17.
Residents told The Nation Newspaper over the phone that they were still reeling from the attack, which they said caught them off guard.
The Maza Kuka and Kulhu communities in Niger state’s Mashegu local government council border Kianji Lake Forest, where the majority of the bandits are said to be hiding.
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The attack was confirmed by Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, the Secretary to the Niger State Government, who confirmed the kidnapping of three worshippers from an Ogun church.
According to him, the gunmen killed 16 people in the mosque and one more in Kaboji village.
According to Ad Matane, the State Government has dispatched a team of military personnel to the forest to search for bandits.
Alhaji Alhassan Isa Maza-Kuka, the Chairman of the Mashegu Local Government Council, confirmed the incident, calling it “devastating” for the people.
He claimed that the attack was unjustified, especially because people were praying in the mosque.
One of the injured people, according to Alhassan, is in a critical condition and has been taken to the Minna General Hospital for treatment.