Hundreds of terrorists, led by a notorious bandit, Dan-Karami, have reportedly relocated from Zamfara to areas between Safana and Batsari Local Government Areas of Katsina State.
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Villagers said the terrorists were escaping from military onslaught in Zamfara. They were said to have moved into Tsaskiya, Runka, Gora, Labo and other communities in the two local government areas.
Villagers said the terrorists had teamed up with another notorious bandit, Usman Modi-Modi, who had been terrorising residents of the area.
The villagers said the terrorists, in their large numbers and heavily armed, moved to the area with a large herd of cattle.
“About a thousand of them who came on about 300 motorcycles spent Saturday night in Labo village,” a reliable source told the News Agency of Nigeria.
He added that the terrorists were spread in at least five villages on the fringes of Rugu forest between Safana and Batsari, as well as part of Zamfara.
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The source, however, said it was not clear whether the bandits were in transit or setting up a new base in the area.
The villagers appealed to the military and Katsina State government to respond promptly and deny the terrorists any space to operate.
NAN reports that Dankarami and his gang were known for raiding villages and towns in Zamfara and attacking security personnel.
A community leader told NAN on condition of anonymity that some of the villagers had started relocating to avoid being caught up in the impending disaster.
He urged the military to deploy its land and air assets to decimate the terrorists before they wreck more havoc.
“If nothing is done immediately, these terrorists will pose a serious security threat to many surrounding local government areas, including the state capital.
“There are many of them and they are heavily armed. The government should respond with decisive firepower to save the people,” he added.
Similarly, a resident of Runka said: “From last week, these bandits were seen clearing bushes to make shelters, which means, they want to be here permanently.
“We heard that Dan-Karami came to Usman Modi-Modi some days ago, and Modi-Modi gave him weapons. This means they will work together to continue to perpetrate their criminal activities in those areas.
“Dankarami also came with weapons; the locals are telling us that they have never seen bandits in large number and the type of weapons they have. They are widening their base in the area.”
He also urged government and security agencies to hasten measures to prevent the terrorists from taking over the area.
When contacted, Governor Aminu Masari’s Special Adviser on Security, Ibrahim Ahmad-Katsina, said only the security forces could comment on the matter.
However, the spokesman for the Katsina State Police Command, CSP Gambo Isah, said the security forces were investigating the veracity of the information.
“There is such rumour of the ongoing onslaught in the military operations and the police in Zamfara forcing some terrorists to relocate to some parts of the state.
“Here in Katsina, the security forces, particularly the Army, Nigerian Air Force and the Police have taken note of that and are making investigation to ascertain its genuineness and take appropriate action,” he said.