Kaduna - Gunmen opened fire on Muslim
worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in Kaduna on
Sunday, killing at least 20 people, a local official said.
The attack happened in a remote village called Dogo Dawa, in
Kaduna state, said Abdullahi Muhammad, the traditional ruler and
councillor of Birnin Gwari, a local government area next door to
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the
attack. Like much of northern Nigeria, Kaduna is plagued by an
insurgency led by radical Islamist sect Boko Haram. They usually
attack security forces, government officials or Christians, but
have hit Muslim clerics and mosques in the past, especially ones
that do not follow their hardline brand of Islam.
But Abdulladhi said the attack was most likely carried out
by a local criminal gang.
"We are suspecting a reprisal attack by gangs of armed
robbers who lost some of their members after a recent exchange
of fire with the villagers and the vigilantes," he said.
"The village had been terrorised by an armed group operating
from camps in the forest. These armed men mostly attack villages
and motorists along the busy Kaduna to Lagos highway."
The state police commissioner Olufemi Adenaike confirmed the
incident, but said he could not yet confirm the death toll.
The Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria and weapons
flooding in from its neighbours on the threshold of the Sahara
have aggravated levels of violence in the region. Armed
robberies and local disputes degenerating into deadly shootouts
are increasingly common across the impoverished north.