Gunmen on bikes entered three villages in coordinated assaults, taking pictures folks as they tried to flee, an area official mentioned.
Gunmen have killed a minimum of 48 folks in assaults on three villages in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state, an area official and residents mentioned.
Dozens of gunmen on bikes entered the three villages in coordinated assaults, taking pictures folks as they tried to flee, Aminu Suleiman, administrative head of Bakura district the place the villages are situated, mentioned on Sunday.
“A complete of 48 folks have been killed by the bandits within the three villages [Damri, Kalahe and Sabon Garin] attacked Friday afternoon,” Suleiman mentioned.
The worst hit was Damri, the place the gunmen killed 32 folks, Suleiman advised AFP. The victims included sufferers at a hospital.
“They burned a police patrol automobile, killing two safety personnel.”
Since 2010, gangs of bandits have run riot in huge swaths of northern Nigeria, however solely in the previous few years has the disaster ballooned into nationwide prominence in Africa’s most populous nation.
The time period “bandits” is a catchall for the legal gangs masterminding frequent bouts of abduction, maiming, sexual violence and killings of citizens throughout northern elements of the nation.
Information from the Armed Battle Location & Occasion Information Venture reveals that bandits were responsible for greater than 2,600 civilian deaths in 2021 – many greater than these attributed to insurgent teams Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province in the identical 12 months – and virtually 3 times the variety of victims in 2020.
Troops deployed within the three villagers raided on Friday by bandits engaged the attackers in a gun battle, forcing them to withdraw, Suleiman mentioned.
Abubakar Maigoro, a Damri resident, mentioned the gunmen who attacked his village went on a taking pictures spree earlier than looting livestock and meals provides.
“We buried 48 folks killed within the assaults,” Maigoro mentioned.
Nigerian police didn’t reply to requests for remark.
The criminals have lately stepped up their assaults regardless of navy operations towards their hideouts.
The so-called bandits keep camps in an unlimited forest, straddling Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.
Up to now two months, they’ve attacked a prepare travelling between the capital Abuja and Kaduna metropolis, kidnapping dozens of passengers; massacred greater than 100 villagers; and killed a dozen members of vigilante teams.
In early January, gunmen killed more than 200 people in Zamfara state.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military commander, has been underneath intense strain to finish bandit violence earlier than he leaves workplace subsequent 12 months on the finish of his two phrases in energy.
Buhari known as on safety forces to “do all that may be finished to deliver a right away finish to the horrific killings”.
“The agricultural people in Zamfara and elsewhere should be allowed to have peace,” he mentioned in a press release on Sunday.
Officers in Zamfara say greater than 700,000 folks have been displaced by the violence, prompting the opening of eight camps to accommodate them.
The escalating violence has additionally pressured 1000’s to flee to neighbouring Niger, with over 11,000 searching for refuge in November, in accordance with the United Nations.