At least 113 persons have been reportedly killed by suspected bandits in three local government areas in restive Zamfara State within the last one week.
The bandits also destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
Following the incessant killings, many residents of villages in Shinkafi, Anka and Tsafe local governments have left their ancestral homes and moved to Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPS).
The police in Zamfara, last Saturday, said 29 people were killed by suspected armed bandits in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state.
The police spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, told PREMIUM TIMES that the victims were attacked and killed by armed bandits while travelling in a convoy of vehicles conveying traders from Shinkafi market on their way back to Kwari village in Shinkafi Local Government Area.
Also, no fewer than 30 members of Civilian Joint Tasks Force (CJTF) in the state were killed by the armed bandits on at Kwaren Shinkafi village in Shinkafi local government area of the state.
The attack reportedly occurred two days after the attack in Shinkafi town.
A resident of the area, Bala Shinkafi, told Blueprint newspaper that the bandits, numbering about 100, ambushed the CJTF operatives escorting traders from Kware village to Shinkafi on market day .
He said several traders were injured during the attack as the hoodlums made away with valuables.
“We have buried 31 dead bodies while those who sustained injury have been taken to Shinkafi General Hospital for urgent medical attention,” Mr Shinkafi said.
The bandits again carried out a fresh attack on Sunday, killing 20 CJTF members in Danjibga village of Tsafe local government area of the state.
A resident of the area, Mustafa Danjibga, also told Blueprint that bandits stormed the community on motorcycles and attempted to raid the village at around 1p.m.
He said they were, however, repelled by the CJTF operatives who put up a fight in defence of the communities.
“During the exchange of gunfire with CJTF, some communities of Kwaren Ganuwa, Keta villages mobilised themselves to counter the bandits, and in the process, the bandits killed (another) 23 of our CJTF operatives,” Mr Danjibga said.
At about the same period, hundreds of the hoodlums staged another attack on the people of Kawaye, in Anka Local Government area and killed 14 villagers.
They also reportedly abducted 68 persons including the district head, his wives, and children.
The spokesperson of Operation Sharar Daji, a military operation, Clement Abiade, a Major, confirmed the incident to Thisday but did not specify the number of persons killed.
Our correspondent reports that following the incessant attacks by the bandits, most villages in the areas are now deserted.
Many people who spoke with our reporter condemned the action of the bandits, describing it as “evil”.
Others slammed the government for its inability to tackle the crisis.
Meanwhile, Governor Abdulaziz Yari on a condolence visit to one of the affected villages, Kawaye, expressed concern over the ugly situation and pledged his government’s continued efforts toward bringing an end to the menace.