Seven children have been reported dead and several others injured following a stampede in Shimfida village of Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Sources say the fear of a terrorists’ attack sent residents into a frenzy, leading to the casualties recorded.
Although the police are yet to confirm the incident, a resident of the area, Abdulrazak Ahmad said that the tragedy occurred late on Thursday, after soldiers serving in a joint security task force were totally evacuated and withdrawn from the community.
He said the withdrawn soldiers were initially stationed at the Government Secondary School, Shimfida, about 27 kilometres from Jibia town.
However, immediately after confirming that the troops were going to make a non-return trip, the residents became apprehensive, with many believing that the terrorists would strike seeing that the community had become vulnerable.
Bearing this in mind, residents began to pack all their belongings, some waiting for the slightest sign of an onslaught before they set out while others started fleeing their respective houses to seek refuge elsewhere.
Sadly, no sooner had the people closed their eyes to sleep, than the gunmen invaded the community, shooting sporadically and kidnapping some of the villagers.
Ahmad, who believes that the withdrawal of the troops gave room for the terrorists to invade the area, disclosed that the deceased have since been buried according to Islamic rites.
At the moment, the police and other security agencies were yet to make formal statements regarding the development.