Bandits on rampage in North-West Nigeria, kill 11 residents, burn 30 houses


Bandits (file photo)

By Valentine Amanze

Government officials have confirmed that armed bandits at the weekend ran riot at North-West and Central Nigeria, killing dozens of people, including 11 security officials, while stealing food worth millions of naira and torching houses.

The Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, disclosed that on Saturday more than 100 motorcycle-riding gunmen stormed into remote Galadiman Kogo community in Shiroro district.

His words: “Terrorists, numbering over 100 are said to have invaded the community in broad daylight, killing about 11 Joint Security Taskforce members, several villagers and leaving many injured.”

He also disclosed that scores of the attackers were killed by security forces during the attack.

“We have really ran out of patience with the terrorists and we’ll use every means possible to bring an end to this incessant bloody attacks on innocent people,” Bello said.

Besides, the governor announced impending “extensive military operations” approved by Buhari in three districts the bandits use as their enclave.

In a separate attack on Sunday, bandits rode into Kurmin Masara village in mainly Christian Zangon Kataf district in Kaduna State, killing 11 residents and burning more than 30 houses, the state Internal Security Commissioner, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement.

The gunmen also tried to ambush a team of Air Force special forces who deployed to the area to engage the bandits, but the attack was thwarted, Aruwan said.

In neighbouring Zamfara State, police said on Monday that they had rescued 32 kidnap victims, who had been abducted in separate incidents in Niger, Katsina and Zamfara states, some held for as long as two months.

North-West and Central Nigeria have been terrorised for years by gangs who attack villages, loot and abduct residents, but the violence and kidnappings have become more widespread.

The weekend attacks came shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari called on the army to crack down on gangs, known locally as bandits, who were recently designated as terrorists by the government.

Buhari on Thursday promised communities   under siege that he was “more than ever determined to get rid of these outlaws”, claiming the military was “well equipped to effectively confront these enemies of humanity”.


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