The Kaduna state government has reacted to a report that “terrorists in helicopter” attacked residents in four communities in Kajuru LGA.
The Adara Development Association (ADA) had, on Wednesday, said 32 residents were killed in an attack on the communities.
Awemi Maisamari, president of the association, had also alleged that “a white-painted helicopter” was involved in the attack on the residents.
But in a statement on Thursday, Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna commissioner for internal security and home affairs, refuted the reports that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits.
“While the government mourned the gruesome killing and burning of houses in the attacked locations, a report published, suggesting that the victims of the attack were killed by terrorists using a helicopter, is not true,” the statement reads.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday.
“The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses.
“An Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Punch) dispatched to the area, had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.
“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location (Ungwan Maikori) and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.
“It was the arrival of the air asset which deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village, after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses.
“The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore an untrue account.
“The Government of Kaduna State having gone through all the facts, finds it regrettable that a section of the media would circulate an unverified report, insensitive to its implications on national security, law and order.
“Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the Government backed by incontrovertible facts.
“The military, police and other agencies working in the general area deserve commendation and motivation, rather than demoralising allegations.”
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