Sixteen killed in Nigeria’s Zamfara State as lawlessness continues

For several years, rural communities in Nigeria's Zamfara state have been under siege from gangs of cattle rustlers who carry out deadly raids on herding communities to kill, loot and burn homes.
File image.

For several years, rural communities in Nigeria's Zamfara state have been under siege from gangs of cattle rustlers who carry out deadly raids on herding communities to kill, loot and burn homes. File image.

As a result of the regular attacks, some locals formed vigilante groups in self-defence.

Sixteen people were killed and 14 were wounded in Zamfara State in north-western Nigeria on the Muslim holiday of Eid El Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Yusuf Idris, the media spokesperson for Zamfara’s state governor, confirmed in a press statement that following Tuesday night’s attack when the gunmen opened fire indiscriminately, the governor had instructed the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice as fast as possible.

Idris said the governor also wanted to coordinate efforts with local citizens to help bring an end to the continued banditry and attacks in Zamfara State. These have included armed groups stealing cattle, kidnappings for ransom, and indiscriminate attacks on local communities.

In February, gunmen killed 26 people in one attack. In a separate attack, bandits killed another 11 people before torching homes in Batauna village, in Bukkuyum district.

As a result of the regular attacks, some locals formed vigilante groups in self-defence, which in addition to a growth in informal mining activity in the mining-rich region, further aggravated the situation.

Following more killings and kidnappings in April, a suspected leader of the bandits responsible for numerous deaths in the state warned that there would be more killings there as long as the Federal Government continued to deploy the military and other security forces in the troubled area.

However, the authorities responded to concerns over the increasing levels of violence and the threat by suspending all mining activities in the state and deploying additional troops to the area.

– African News Agency

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