The Kaduna State Police command confirmed that 32 persons mostly women and children have been killed in clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.
However, a source close to the youths/farmers put the casualty figure at over 37 with scores injured in the blood bath that lasted for two days.
According to the Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abbe, “the problem started when some youths claimed that they saw a Fulani with a bag which they alleged to contain military camouflage but he ran away.
“On their way coming, they saw a young grazing herder and they attacked him. But while that was ongoing, his father came in to rescue his son and was subsequently assaulted but later died in a hospital where he was rushed to”.
He said contrary to perceptions, “we must not assume or conclude that because in some communities of the state, attacks had taken place by suspected Fulani herds-men, for every violent attack, the aggressors must be Fulani herdsmen. I do believe that in this particular incident, that assertion is not true.
“Police were informed and we immediately swung into action but before we could reach the place, 26 Fulanis who were mostly women and children have been killed and their huts razed. This took place at a remote settlement.
“This form of unprovoked attack is not only barbaric; it must be condemned especially when the state is experiencing some level of peace,” the Commissioner lamented.
While assuring the people of Kaduna State of their safety, Abbe affirmed that “Police will continue to render all legitimate service to ensure peace in the state”. Stressing “we will do all we can to prevent escalation and we will not rest until those behind the dastardly act are brought to justice.”
In another development, the command yesterday paraded over fifty suspected crimi-nals who have been terrorising Kaduna residents.
The suspects who are mostly youths between 15 and 23 years of age, according to the Police were arrested while committing the crimes on Kaduna-Abuja, Kaduna-Zaria and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highways.