There is apprehension in the Dansadau district of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, days after 20 people were killed in attacks by rival groups in the area.
PREMIUM TIMES reported on Sunday how at least 20 persons were killed on Thursday and Friday in reprisal attacks between a vigilante group and bandits in the district.
It began when bandits killed three persons during a raid on Ruwan-Tofa on Thursday.
Following the incident, members of the vigilante group on Friday attacked a cattle market in Dansadau, killing 16 persons of Fulani ethnic stock and leaving five others severely injured.
But on Friday evening, suspected bandits attacked Mai-Tukunya community to avenge the event earlier that day at the Dansadau cattle market
One person, Nasiru Habibu was killed at the Mai-Tukunya community.
On Sunday, residents said ‘hundreds’ of suspected bandits were sighted on motorcycles in what they feared was preparation for attacks on vulnerable communities in the area.
A youth leader in the area, Suleiman Isah, told PREMIUM TIMES that they believed the bandits were planning to attack Yar Sawayu and other communities. He said this has caused apprehension in the communities and put the local vigilante groups n red alert.
“We believe that they are targeting the vulnerable communities which include Yar Sawayu, Ruwan-Tofa, Malele and Mai-Awaki,” Mr Isah said.
He said the bandits were forced to retreat after a military fighter jet hovered over the area.
“They retreated because of the presence of military fighter jet. But for how long will the jet continue to patrol the area?
“The jet only flew for some time. Residents are living in fear because these people will attack us unless they notice heavy security presence around the area,” Mr Isah, who resides in Yar Sawayu, said.
“We are under sieged by armed bandits and we cannot travel to anywhere apart from Gusau (Zamfara State capital). About 45 peasants communities in Dansadau district have been deserted, only bandits operate freely there.
“We cannot ply the highways linking us to neighboring Birnin Gwari in Kaduna, Faskari in Katsina, Bena in Kebbi and Kotonkoro in Niger State because there is no presence of security agents on the highways. Bandits run the highways with impunity,” Mr Isah said.
The police spokesperson in the state, Muhammad Shehu, did not respond to calls and text message seeking official comments for this report.
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