200 terrorists invade Kaduna Airport, kill one, interrupt flight operations – Nexus News

Suspected terrorists of about 200, yesterday, invaded the Kaduna International Airport, Kaduna, and killed a security guard, and also interrupted flight services for hours.

The attack from the runway area, with heavy shootings around noon, turned the airport into disarray and stopped a Lagos-bound Azman Air flight from taking off.

The attack comes one year after bandits stormed the staff quarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and kidnapped officials and their family members.

Earlier in the day, there was chaos in Danmani Community of Rigasa, Igabi Local Council subsequent to a bomb explosion.

The unfortunate incident, which shocked residents, occurred close to a Point of Sale (POS) shop, near Abubakar Sadiq Mosque.

An object believed to be an explosive device was found close to a motorcycle ‎belonging to the POS operator, who was wounded and rushed to the hospital.

Another resident, who identified himself as Shehu, informed journalists that three people were injured during the incident.

According to the resident, an anti-bomb squad arrived at the scene and detonated another explosive device.

It was learnt that the Azman’s Boeing 737 aircraft could not leave due to sporadic gun shot around the aerodrome, as the military tried to ward off the criminals. Most workers at the facility fled the airport while the shootout lasted.

Sources, which confirmed that the NAMA staff was shot and killed by the bandits around the runway area, noted that the shooting and presence of the bandits on the runway stopped the craft from taking off.

The acting Managing Director of NAMA, Lawrence Pwajok, confirmed the attack to Journalists.

Pwajok said: “Yes it is true that bandits attacked our VHF Omni-directional range (VOR) equipment site at Kaduna Civil airport around 12 noon today and shot our security man attached to the equipment. He later died from gunshot injuries. However, the Air Force is currently engaging the bandits in a counter-offensive.”

Very high-frequency Omni-directional range is a type of short-range radio navigation system for aircraft. It enables aircraft with receiving units to figure out their position and stay on track by receiving radio signals transmitted by a network of fixed ground radio beacons.

In March last year, suspected armed bandits stormed the staff quarters of FAAN and NAMA at Kaduna airport, having reportedly kidnapped an unknown number of persons.

Some FAAN officials living in the quarters, who managed to escape, stated that some colleagues and their families were kidnapped by the gunmen.

The state Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who affirmed the attack in a communique titled, “Troops Repel Bandits at Kaduna Airport,” said troops had successfully repelled the bandits.

Samuel Aruwan

The government explained that scheduled flights resumed after the incident and commended the efforts of the military.

“Security forces are conducting operations in the airport general area. Further updates will be communicated to the public,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is soliciting for a dialogue to address worsening insecurity in the state, just as a former governor of the state, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi has berated the increasing violence and attacks by terrorists.

The Chairman of Kaduna Chapter of CAN, Rev Joseph John Hayab, in a communiquê, said:

“Dialogue is a conversation between two or more people aimed at resolving a problem. Accordingly, religion and culture teach us to engage in dialogue to make the world and humankind better.

“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kaduna State Chapter is disturbed, particularly that owing to the ceaseless killings in the state and the country at large, some groups are asking faith leaders to withdraw from any peace dialogue.

“The contention is that some parties in peace dialogues do not come to the table with genuineness or as equal partners,” the statement said, adding, “CAN, therefore, appeals to those who feel that they have had enough of dialogue not to give up yet, and should desist from discouraging others from engaging in any opening for dialogue. Christians are people of faith and trust that with God all things are possible.

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“One day, sooner than later, the evil, killings, and destruction experienced now will be over when more good people continue to dialogue towards finding a lasting solution to our current predicament.”

Makarfi said: “It is rather unfortunate that just a few days apart, we are having to, once again, mourn the loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties in Kaduna State.

“The attacks and subsequent loss of about 50 lives as reported and properties in Giwa Local Government coming so shortly on the heels of the ones in the southern parts of the state earlier in the week are a stark reminder of the perilous times we seem to be in,” the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said.

However, Kaduna State Government has announced that normal flights has resumed fully after the military had repelled the bandits.

This was contained in a press release issued by the commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan on Saturday.

The press release revealed that security forces reported that an attack by armed bandits was repelled in the vicinity of the Kaduna International Airport.

The statement said: “Troops stationed within and around the airport responded and repelled the attackers.

“However, the bandits, unfortunately, shot and killed a staff member stationed at the perimeter fence who raised alarm on sighting them.

“Airport operations resumed with scheduled flights departing after the incident.

“Security forces are conducting operations in the airport general area. Further updates will be communicated to the public.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i commended the security forces for their prompt response to the attack, and for repelling the attackers.

“He expressed sadness at the report of the casualty, and sent condolences to the family of the victim while offering prayers for the repose of his soul.”

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