The Kaduna State government has confirmed that gunmen killed 32 persons in four of its communities.
The four communities are Ungwan Gamu, Dogon Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Maikori, all in Kajuru council.
But the government denied that the attacks were launched or aided by a helicopter gunship.
The locals had said a helicopter provided cover for the attackers who invaded the villages on Sunday.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said yesterday that the bandits did not attack the communities with helicopters.
“The Kaduna State Government received initial reports from security agencies that bandits attacked the villages.
“According to the reports, the bandits stormed the area in large numbers on motorcycles, and proceeded to raze several houses, as they attacked and killed locals.
“Since the attack, security agencies and traditional leaders in the locations have been updating the government on the development.
“As of the time of this report, 32 persons have been confirmed dead following the attack.
“While the Government mourned the gruesome killing and burning of houses in the attacked locations, a report was published suggesting that the victims of the attack were killed by terrorists using a helicopter.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to make a clarification based on reports received since Sunday. The bandits attacked the first two locations and killed 31 citizens. They then headed into Ungwan Maikori, where they killed one person and burnt some houses.
“An Air Force helicopter (under Operation Whirl Stroke) dispatched to the area had earlier scanned the first two locations and sighted burnt houses and properties on fire.
“The helicopter intercepted the bandits at the last location and engaged them as they retreated, before the arrival of ground troops to the general area.
“It was the arrival of the air asset which deterred the bandits from further attacks on the citizens in the village, after the bandits had already killed one local and burnt several houses.
“The story that a helicopter provided air support to the bandits against the locals, is therefore, untrue.
“Eyewitnesses to the peddled report of a helicopter aiding bandits in the killing of innocent citizens are invited to present their accounts to the Government backed by incontrovertible facts.”
The National President of the Adara Development Association (ADA), Awemi Dio Maisamari, said in a statement that the attack started around noon on Sunday and lasted until around 6pm.
Maisamari’s statement said further: “When the armed killers were carrying out the killings around 3pm, the villagers mobilised to repel the attackers at Maikori village.
The valiant natives who came out in large numbers from neighboring villages were already driving back the invaders and taking control of the situation when a helicopter appeared.
“To the horror of the natives, the white-painted helicopter faced the brave natives instead and started gunning the youths from the air, clearly leaving out the killers who can be distinctly identified by the mode of dressings and from their positions.”