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Bandits attack buses conveying intending pilgrims in Sokoto

Terrorists attacked a convoy of buses conveying intending pilgrims from Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State on Monday evening.

A source, Salihu Mustapha, said the gunmen ambushed the Isa pilgrims, who are among the hundreds of Muslim pilgrims billed to travel from Sokoto to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

Mustapha said, “You know it’s only one mobile network that has served in the area, so the information we’ve so far is still sketchy but I was told by neighbours, whose father is among the intending pilgrims that the bandits opened fire on the vehicle conveying the pilgrims.

“He, however, told me that the mobile policemen escorting the convoy fought back and repelled the attack.

“You know there is a very thick forest around Gundumi area which gives the bandits cover anytime they want to strike. The pilgrims were attacked around that axis.”

Muhammad Bello, the spokesperson of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, confirmed the attack in a statement.

He said the intending pilgrims were attacked “on their way to the state capital for take-off to this year’s pilgrimage.”

Bello however, noted that the intending pilgrims were rescued unharmed.

Quoting the state Commissioner for Information, Isah Bajini-Galadanchi, Bello said, ”all of the intending pilgrims, their relatives who were accompanying them to Sokoto Hajj camp and the security men escorting them, were momentarily held up by suspected bandits operating on the corridor linking the eastern part of the state, arrived safely in Sokoto, the capital city.”

“Already the contingents have been received by Government officials and are being processed for their onward journey to the Holy Land,” he added.

The Executive Secretary of the Sokoto State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Shehu Dange, also confirmed the attack to journalists in Sokoto but refused to give details of the attack.