© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Several miners killed by unknown gunmen in Kaduna State
Several miners were killed and others sustained injuries after an attack by unknown gunmen at a mining site in Mahanga, Birni Gwari council area of Kaduna State on Saturday.
The miners were said to be conducting their business in a forest in Birni Gwari when the attackers came and opened fire on them.
Some reports put the number of dead miners at eight while others said nine of them were killed, out of the 11 that reported for work Saturday morning.
Austin Iwar, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, confirmed the incident, describing it as very unfortunate.
“Of course, there was an incident there (in Birni Gwari) and some people were killed. It’s very unfortunate,” Iwar told journalists over the phone.
He, however, said investigations were on to ascertain the exact number of people that were killed in the attack.
But a source who spoke to Premium Times but pleaded to remain anonymous, confirmed that his in-law, who is a miner in Birni Gwari, was one of the people that were killed, his body set ablaze.
“My in-Law, Magaji Danjuma, was among the miners killed. They were doing their mining business in the forest near old Birnin Gwari town when the bandits attacked them,” the source said.
“My in-law’s body was set ablaze by his killers while their remains was brought to Birnin Gwari town for burial,” he added.
The deceased Danjuma, was said to be a retired police inspector. What remained of his burnt body has since been buried.
Another anonymous source quoted by Daily Trust, a resident of Birni Gwari, confirmed that two of the miners who survived the attack and were receiving treatment for their injuries, told them that the bodies of two of the deceased miners were burnt by the attackers.
“They told us that the whole thing happened in a flash as the gunmen appeared and started shooting at them,” the source said.
Birnin Gwari is said to be rich in solid minerals, especially gold, which is the major interest of the local miners who carry out their laborious activities using crude implements such as diggers and shovels.
The gold deposits in the area has also led to several attacks by armed bandits, resulting in the loss of several lives including policemen and soldiers.