At least 218 residents and militiamen have died in attacks of groups of bandits perpetrated since Wednesday against communities in the Nigerian state of Zamfara, in one of the bloodiest waves of violence in recent months in the African country, according to the balance collected by the portal ‘People’s Gazette’.
The bandits, about 500 and equipped with advanced weapons, arrived on motorcycles and raided the communities of Barayar Zaki, Wanu, Rafin Gero, Laho, Lallaho, Kurfar Danya, Dutsin Dan Ajiya, Tungar Geza, Kewaye and Tungar Na More, according to reports by its part the Nigerian news portal ‘Sahara Reporters’.
After the attacks, the neighbors have recovered more than 200 corpses from the area, many of them farmers who were surprised on their land.
Some 140 victims would be self-defense militiamen who were buried on Friday in Kurfad Danye, according to sources consulted by ‘Sahara Reporters’.
Some 22 bodies have been recovered in the town of Kurfar Danya, eight in Tungar Geza, six in Tungar Dan Gayya, five in Tungar Toro, four in Abare, three in Walo, two in Tungar Isa and one in Keya, according to the count of survivors collected by the ‘Premium Times’.
The attackers have also caused significant material damage, have kidnaped several people and forced from their homes thousands of civilians, including women and children, who have taken refuge in the city of Anka.
These attacks would presumably be the order of one of the region’s best-known criminal bosses, the feared Beautiful Turjiaccording to one of the survivors of the attacks.
The governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, has visited a base of the army on Saturday morning and has confirmed the attacks. In addition, he has visited wounded soldiers in a hospital in the area to raise the morale of the soldiers and reiterate his support in the fight against criminals, reports the portal ‘People’s Gazette’.
However, the final balance of victims could increase in the last hours. After confirming this provisional death toll, Shawwal Aliyu, coordinator of Zamfara Circle, a civil society organization, wanted to clarify that this number is only about the deathly victims that they have been buried and that state residents are still searching for bodies.
“We are going to wait for the volunteers to finish meeting and then we will count the number. It must be borne in mind that we are not talking about a single area, “he lamented in statements to the ‘Premium Times’.
Exodus of the population
Aliyu also recalled that the slaughter in Zamfara it has caused a real exodus in the population. About a 10,000 people have fled of the bandits’ campaign, according to also preliminary estimates. “I don’t have the exact number of displaced people, but our main concern now is to make sure that all women and children receive shelter. Some of the residents are still coming to the city, “he said.
Zamfara is one of the preferred areas for armed attacks by groups of, as the Government describes them, bandits; armed groups specialized in the pillage of the populations where they operate and in the kidnapping of minors in exchange for ransoms.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism