Gunmen killed at least 48 people in attacks on three villages in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state, a local official and residents said Sunday.
Northwest and central Nigeria have been terrorised for years by criminal gangs known as bandits who raid and loot villages, steal cattle and carry out mass abductions of residents for ransom.
“A total of 48 people were killed by the bandits in the three villages (Damri, Sabon Garin and Kalahe) attacked Friday afternoon,” said Aminu Suleiman, administrative head of Bakura district where the villages are.
Dozens of gunmen on motorcycles entered the three villages in coordinated attacks, shooting people as they tried to flee, Suleiman said.
The worst hit was Damri where the gunmen killed 32 people, Suleiman told AFP, including patients at a hospital.
“They burnt a police patrol vehicle, killing two security personnel.”
Troops deployed in the area engaged the attackers in a gun battle, forcing them to withdraw, Suleiman added