At least nine bandits have been killed during a gunfight between rival groups in Kaduna State.
This is according to credible human intelligence network reports corroborated by security agencies, the state government said on Friday.
According to the reports, the clash occurred on Wednesday in Giwa Local Government Area of the state.
A notorious bandit popularly known as Godon Mota was said to have stormed Garke village with members of his gang and clashed with a rival bandit group, leading to the killing of nine persons.
While the cause of the face-off has yet to be ascertained, sources said it revolves around a disagreement over sharing of accumulated ransoms.
One of the groups was reported to have felt cheated by the other – a situation that led to the clash and the killings.
Kidnapping for ransom has become a normal practice for bandits to extort money from innocent residents in Kaduna and other states in the North West, as well as Niger in the north-central region.
In the last one year, bandits have attacked many communities in the region, with a lot of people killed and hundreds abducted.
During the period, several schools have come under attack in Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, and Kebbi where bandits abducted over 1,000 students.
A large number of the victims have since returned after their families paid ransom to the gunmen, but some are still in captivity.
A few of the students lost their lives during rescue operations by security forces.
As the bandits continue to attack communities in Kaduna, the state government says it will no longer consider the option of negotiation with 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,” Governor Nasir El-Rufai said during an interview with Channels Television in April.
According to the security report of the state for the first quarter, a total of 323 people were killed by bandits in Kaduna between January and March.
Of the 323 people killed during the period, 292 were males and 20 were females, while the criminals kidnapped 949 people.