Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen on Saturday attacked two villages in Birnin Gwari Local government area of Kaduna state, killing 10 people.

Several others were said to have sustained injuries from gunshots and were rushed to the General Hospital in the area.

The attacks were said to have occurred in Dangaji and Ungwan Gajere villages on Friday night and lasted till Saturday. The gunmen were said to have burnt down houses as the villagers fled for their lives.

The Kaduna attacks come as the attention of the country remains largely focused on the recent killings in Benue State.

A community leader in one of the villages told journalists on Saturday  evening that the villagers had fled their homes. He said “it is unfortunate that since on Friday night we encountered the attack of herdsmen in Dangaji village. They were shooting and burning houses and people had to run for their dear lives.

“This morning (Saturday) they went to another village, Unguwan Gajere and killed about nine men. One of those wounded died on the way to the hospital”, he added.

According to him, “soldiers tried to get to the affected areas, but before they could get there, the herdsmen had disappeared”.

The community leader said besides the attacks, there had been cases of kidnapping in the area. He said last week, three people from Dangaji community were kidnapped and the kidnappers demanded for a ransom of N6 million from the community.

However while confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, Husseini Mukhtar said five people, mainly members of the vigilantes, were the ones killed.

He said a combined team made up of the police and the military was being put together to launch a manhunt for the criminals.

While deadly attacks are not uncommon in Birnin Gwari, which falls under Kaduna Central Senatorial District, most of the deadly incidents in recent years have been blamed more on armed bandits than herdsmen.

At least 20 were reported killed in an April 2015 attack which the police treated as a case of armed robbery.

Attacks relating to the alleged rustling of cows in the area had also been reported in recent years.

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