At least 45 dead in attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria, says civilian militia

2018-05-06 18:26
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Forty-five people died in an attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria, civilian militia members said on Sunday, amid growing levels of rural violence often involving cattle theft, robbery and kidnappings for ransom.

"The 45 bodies were found scattered in the bush. The bandits pursued residents who mobilised to defend the village after overpowering them," said a vigilante who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

"The dead included children abandoned by their parents during the attack.

"The attackers were obviously armed bandits from neighbouring Zamfara state who have been terrorising Birnin Gwari area...," he added.

The vigilante said the bandits struck Gwaska village in Kaduna state at about 14:30 (1330 GMT) on Saturday and stayed for three hours before retreating to their base in the forest in Zamfara.

"They burnt down many homes," he said.

A spokesperson for the Kaduna state police, Mukhtar Aliyu, confirmed the attack by "armed bandits" but said they were unable to give further details.

The killings follow the death of at least 25 people in separate attacks in northern Nigeria last week.

Thirteen people were killed in prolonged clashes between cattle thieves and local civilian militia in Zamfara.

In Adamawa, in the northeast, meanwhile, at least 12 people were killed in an attack on several villages.

The attacks underlined the diversity of Nigeria's security threats that persist in the absence of a robust police force and efficient judicial system.

Nigeria is in the grip of a security crisis as nomadic herders and sedentary farmers fight over land in an increasingly bloody battle for resources.

Rural communities in Zamfara have been under siege for several years from cattle rustlers and kidnapping gangs, who have raided herding communities, killing, looting and burning homes.

To defend themselves, villages and herdsmen form vigilante groups, but they too are often accused of extra-judicial killings, provoking a bloody cycle of retaliatory attacks.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for failing to curb the violence, which is becoming a key election issue ahead of the upcoming presidential polls in 2018.

Military and police are overstretched in Nigeria, which, along with fighting Boko Haram jihadists in the north, is battling militants and pirates in the oil-rich south, a simmering separatist movement in the east and a bloody battle between herdsmen and farmers spanning the vast central region.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.