Kaduna clash: Police arrest 18 as death toll rises to 12

The death toll in Monday’s communal clash at Kasuwan Magani in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State has risen to 12, while 18 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

A team from the Kaduna State Security Council, which visited Kasuwan Magani, confirmed the cessation of hostilities.

The team, led by the General Officer Commanding, I Division Nigerian Army, Major General Mohammed Mohammed, included Commissioner of Police Austin Iwar; State Director of Department of State Services Mohammed Wakil; Commander Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, AM Bunu; Special Adviser on Internal Security, Col. Yakubu Yusuf (rtd) and Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the Kaduna Governor, Samuel Aruwan,

The GOC, while speaking to leaders of the community, tasked religious and traditional leaders to deepen the message of peace and integration, and warned residents against undermining and destroying the four decades of togetherness and peaceful coexistence in the area.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Austin Iwar, who also briefed journalists, confirmed the arrest of 18 persons, adding that they were undergoing interrogation while security presence is being strengthened in the area.

Iwar said 11 victims of the crisis were “buried around 12 midnight” while one person who sustained injuries later died at the hospital on Tuesday.

Our correspondent, who was in Kajuru, noticed that the centre of the town, which has the market and business places, has been deserted with only burnt structures littering the area.

There were also several burnt vehicles left by the road side.

Iwar said no stone will be left unturned in unravelling the immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

The commissioner said the police were aware of “skirmishes” in the area two weeks ago and had made some arrests “but we did not know that there was a grand design to carry out massive destruction as it happened”.

The police on Monday said seven people lost their lives in the fracas while 15 others were injured.