Armed bandits on Monday shot dead at least 15 people at Ruma district in Bastari Local Government Area of Katsina State, a local official has said.
The district head of Batsari, Tukur Mu’azu, told PREMIUM TIMES that the victims were killed while cultivating their farmlands at Yar Gamji in Ruma district, an outskirt of Batsari council headquarters.
The traditional ruler said the attack happened in the community one year after gunmen attacked and killed at least 18 people in the same district.
Two residents were missing and were feared dead after Monday’s attack, he said.
The police spokesperson in Katsina, Gambo Isah, did not respond to telephone calls.
The attack happened despite ongoing efforts by the authorities to forestall the rampant killing of innocent farmers in the north west state.
On Monday, the chief of army, Tukur Buratai, launched Operation Sahel Sanity in neighbouring Jibia Local Government Area of the state, in a bid to go after the killers.
“We were deliberating with security personnel and other stakeholders at the council headquarters when the gunmen attacked, the soldiers promptly responded and rushed to the area, unfortunately, the bandits fled into the forest,” the traditional ruler said.
He added that the assailants appear determined not to allow farming activities in the area.
“This cannot happen because the farming is the only means of livelihood of the locals,” he said.