Bandits have attacked Haske Baptist Church in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing eight people while several worshippers were abducted.
An unspecified number of worshippers also sustained varying degrees of injuries with a medical doctor, Zakariah Dogo Yaro of the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, among those killed during the incident.
The church, located in Manini Tasha village, Kuriga Ward of the local government area, was attacked around 9am on Sunday by the heavily-armed bandits.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
A member of the church told Channels Television’s correspondent that the bandits upon their arrival surrounded the church and started shooting sporadically at the worshipers who scampered for safety in different directions.
In a similar development, armed bandits invaded Bagoma community in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the northwestern state and killed six indigenes.
Bandits also attacked Amfu village in Kachia council area where they shot a woman to death.
While reacting to the incident, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack by bandits on a place of worship in Chikun and other parts of the state.
He described them as shocking acts of depraved persons far removed from humanity.
The governor who roundly denounced the attack on the church added that attacking innocent worshipers who were exercising their natural and lawful rights to assembly, represented the worst kind of evil.
He, however, sent his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and the Haske Baptist church, while also praying for the repose of the souls of the slain and speedy recovery for the injured.
Kaduna State has witnessed a surge in banditry and kidnapping in recent years; schools and students have been the major targets.
Earlier this month, scores of students were abducted by gunmen at Greenfield University, with three of them later confirmed dead.
This was after over thirty students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in the Afaka area of the state were kidnapped.
Despite the rise in kidnapping with the perpetrators demanding ransom, the Kaduna government has insisted that it will not succumb to blackmail, vowing not to pay a dime to the criminals.
“We have a feeling that the renewed attacks in Kaduna are not unconnected to the position that we have taken as a government that we will not negotiate with criminals,” said the governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
“We will not give them any money and they will not make any profit from Kaduna; anyone that comes to Kaduna will not get a penny from the state government, except he will get a bullet instead.”