The number of people that have been feared dead in the attack on Birnin Gwari, a local government area in Kaduna state, has risen to 45.
This disclosure was made by Austin Iwar, the state commissioner of police, on Sunday, while speaking with newsmen.
It is understood that the incident took place less than 48 hours after Ibrahim Idris, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Mohammed Mohammed, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 division, Nigerian army visited the area.
The police chief had ordered the immediate deployment of additional 200 police personnel to the community when he visited, but the heightened security did not stop the suspected bandits from staging the attack.
Scores of houses were said to have been set ablaze in the attack which occurred around 2:30pm on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Nasir el-Rufai, the state governor, has expressed concern over the continuous attacks in the state.
He also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a permanent army battalion in Birnin Gwari.
“The Kaduna state government has received with sadness reports of the murder of our citizens by armed bandits in Birnin Gwari. The government has sent a message of condolence to the people of Birnin Gwari Emirate,” he said in a statement issued on his behalf by Samuel Aruwan, his spokesman.
“Kaduna state government is deeply committed to overcoming the unfortunate criminality and banditry being carried out against innocent citizens in Birnin Gwari local government.
“The engagements between the state and federal governments have yielded results. President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a permanent battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari general area.
“The new security arrangements also involve policing. The Inspector General of Police has already announced the creation of the Birnin Gwari Police Area Command and two new Divisional Police Headquarters.
“The State Emergency Management Agency, has also been directed to provide relief materials with immediate effect to the affected communities.”