Vigilante members in Kurfi Local Government Area of Katsina on Tuesday killed 11 Fulani youths after accusing them of banditry terrorising their areas.
The incident happened at Wurma community after the herdsmen were handpicked in the community’s market square and killed by vigilante members amidst hundreds of people.
Residents said the deceased were patronising the local market. The killing has resulted in panic among residents, over the fear of reprisal attacks.
The vigilante members accused the victims as being responsible for terrorising Kurfi, Batsari Local Government Areas facing repeated attacks, resulting to raping, maiming and looting of valuables, a source said asking not to name for security reasons.
The victims were taken to Dutsin Karare where they were killed after brief detention at the vigilante’s custody in Kurfi local council area, the source added.
Residents say they fear reprisal attacks because the victims could be innocent and wrongly accused by the vigilante members. This is because the hardened criminals hardly patronize local markets because they are jittery of arrest, the source said.
Also, he added that many other residents believed that such people have to be killed as long as they are herdsmen. If they are not criminals, they are harbouring their criminal brothers coming from neighbouring Zamfara State.
The police spokesperson for Katsina State, Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident to journalists. He said the command condemned the extrajudicial killing, describing the action of the volunteers as gruesome and unacceptable.
He said security personnel have launched a manhunt for the vigilante members responsible for the killings.
The police said: “We met the 11 corpses of the slaughtered victims and we are suspecting vigilante members for the murder and that their action contravened the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is unconstitutional for anybody to take (the) law into his hand.
“We are working hard to arrest those who carried out the act to face the wrath of the law. No sane society will condone this kind of act and that was why the Katsina State Government banned the activities of Yan-Sakai in the state,” the police said.