Residents of Dogon Dawa has revealed that earlier attacks today at a mosque in the Kaduna village which has so far led to the death of at least 21 worshipers was carried out by gunmen dressed in Police uniform.
The military and locals said the pre-dawn raid in the village of Dogon Dawa in Kaduna state was a result of bad blood between armed robbers and a local vigilante group.
The community militia had last week resisted the gang which returned on Sunday, storming the mosque as people were about to say early morning prayers, killing some victims inside the building and some outside.
Confirming the death toll, Musa Illela of the National Emergency Management Agency in Kaduna said; “We have 21 killed. Several others have been taken to the hospital with injuries”.
There had been waves of sectarian violence in the religiously divided state in recent months but military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sani Usman told AFP that Sunday’s shooting was “a clear case of armed robbery,” and described it as a “revenge” attack linked to the rivalry between the thieves and the vigilantes.
Answering questions about the likelihood of a religious element in the shootings, Col. Usman said only that “the victims were coming from prayers” at the mosque.
According to a village resident, Dauda Maikudi, thieves regularly target the area as Dogon Dawa lies not far from a main road used by traders carrying goods and cash between the north and south of Nigeria.
“It was a pre-dawn raid,” he said. “The attackers… some of them dressed in police uniform, came into the village. They killed eight worshippers in the mosque and killed 13 other residents in the village.”
“We believe they were armed robbers because this area has been bedevilled by armed robbers for years,” he told AFP
A local leader, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said he supported Maikudi’s description of the attackers’ disguises.
The local leader said Dogon Dawa’s vigilante force has had a series of clashes with the area’s criminal groups. He said the gunmen struck just before Sunday morning’s call to prayer.
Kaduna Mosque Shooting: Villagers Revealed Killers Dressed In Police Uniform As Death Toll Rises To 21