Gunmen, locally referred to as bandits, on Saturday attacked Gurbin Magarya community of Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, killing three people and wounding three others.
The bandits were reported to have also killed the livestock of residents of the community.
Local sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the bandits attacked the community around 10 pm and blocked all entries into the community.
Halliru Haladu, a resident of Jibia, said the attackers arrived on motorcycles.
“If not because of the soldiers and vigilante members stationed on the road leading to the communities from Jibia, the bandits would have succeeded in wiping the whole community,” Mr Haladu said. “They (vigilante members and soldiers) were very brave. They succeeded in repelling the attackers but, by the time they came, three people had been killed.”
Mr Haladu identified those who were killed as Muntari Naqawuri, Surajo Salisu and Musa Hassan. He said Mustapha Salisu, Basiru Abubakar and Muhammad Rabiu were wounded during the attack.
The wounded are receiving treatment at a public health facility in Jibia.
A youth leader in the area, Mustapha Kabir, said he could hear gunshots from Jibia during the attack.
“Some people who were late outside said they saw the bandits moving towards Gurbin Magarya direction before the attack,” he said.
The police command spokesperson, Gambo Isa, didn’t respond to calls and SMS sent to him during the attack.
What started as farmers-herders clashes snowballed into cattle rustling before access to small arms emboldened the criminals to raid villages. Widespread endemic poverty, illiteracy and porous borders with the Niger Republic have combined to complicate the insecurity in the region.
The attacks have now become routine in the northwest. In Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, and Kebbi, as well as in Niger State in the north-central, attacks on rural communities, travellers and farmers occur daily.
The activities of these bandits have disrupted farming, the principal occupation of the area. These assailants burn farmlands, and they regularly sack farming communities. The bandits ask those who are lucky to pay levies before they can farm. Those who have resisted or could not raise the levies on time have either been killed or prevented from harvesting their crop.