In Nigeria, attacks on three villages leave dozens dead

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New attacks, carried out Friday by armed men against three villages located in northwestern Nigeria, left at least 48 dead, according to a local official and a resident. President Muhammadu Buhari called on the security forces to “do everything to put an immediate end to these horrible massacres” in the country.

At least 48 people were killed in attacks by gunmen on three villages in Zamfara state in northwestern Nigeria, a local official and a resident told AFP on Sunday (May 8th). .

This violence is the latest attributed to criminal gangs, “bandits” who have terrorized central and northwestern Nigeria for years, looting, kidnapping and killing the inhabitants.

“A total of 48 people were killed by the bandits in the three villages (Damri, Sabon Garin and Kalahe) attacked on Friday afternoon,” said Bakura district administrative official Aminu Suleiman, confirming a report given by a inhabitant.

The village of Damri was the most affected. The bandits killed 32 people there, including two policemen, said Aminu Suleiman.

“The gunmen attacked a hospital in Damri where they shot dead patients receiving treatment and burned a police vehicle, killing two security personnel,” he said.

The assailants put to flight

The army, subsequently deployed in the area, managed to scare off the attackers, according to the same source.

Damri resident Abubakar Maigoro gave the same toll as Aminu Suleiman: “We buried 48 people killed in the attacks,” he told AFP. “The arrival of the soldiers forced the bandits to retreat, leaving behind the cattle and foodstuffs they looted.”

The police, who did not confirm the violence, did not respond to requests from AFP.

In the process, President Muhammadu Buhari, criticized for his inability to stem the violence, called on the security forces to “do everything to put an immediate end to these horrible massacres” in the country. “Rural populations in Zamfara and elsewhere must have the right to peace,” he insisted in a statement.

Attacks on the rise

Despite military operations and amnesties granted by the authorities, attacks are increasing in the northwest and center of Africa’s most populous country. In the past two months alone, gangs have bombed and fired on a train from the capital Abuja, kidnapping dozens of passengers; they shot more than 100 villagers and massacred a dozen members of vigilante groups. And in early January, more than 200 villagers were killed in Zamfara State.

According to the NGO Acled, the bandits killed more than 2,600 civilians in 2021, an increase of 25% compared to 2020.

Designated as “terrorists” by authorities earlier this year, the bandits operate from hidden camps in a vast forest straddling Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.

With AFP

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