21 people have lost their life and several others have been wounded in a mosque in Nigeria on Sunday following a day of violence that occurred in Kaduna.
They killed eight worshippers in the mosque and killed 13 other residents in the village. The Nigerian army has said an armed assault was as a result of a criminal feud and not sectarian violence, the attacked is said to be of the bloodiest in a day of violence. According to the army and locals the pre-dawn raid on the mosque in the village of Dogon Dawa, in the northern state of Kaduna, was carried out by armed robbers engaged in a running feud with a local vigilante group.
Last week, the gang has been resisted by the community militia but they returned on Sunday, invading the mosque as people prepared for early morning prayers, killing people inside and outside the building. The north-eastern city of Maiduguri has also been shaken by roadside blast and two separate gun attacks that killed at least four people including a local chief, say residents and the military sources.
Military spokesperson 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. Dauda Maikudi one of the village residents told AFP that thieves regularly target the area since Dogon Dawa lies near a main road used by traders carrying goods and cash between the north and south of Africa’s most populous country. But it was also unclear who was responsible for the bloodshed in Maiduguri. He believes they were armed robbers because this area has been bedeviled by armed robbers for years and it lies about 70km from the state capital Kaduna city.
In June, three churches have been attacked by suicide bombings, claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram and had sparked reprisal violence by Christian gangs that killed dozens of their Muslim neighbours and burned some of their victims’ bodies causing Muslim groups to also formed mobs and killing several Christians. The Boko Haram Islamists have sworn to kill many of Nigeria’s traditional Muslim leaders. They are been accused of betraying Islam by submitting to the authority of a secular government. Boko Haram have also repeatedly attacked Christians attending Sunday worship across northern Nigeria, but there was no indication as to why the slain family. Kaduna-based rights activist Shehu Sani says Nigeria had become a nation of unknown gunmen and absentee leaders.