The survivor told the Associated Press that more than 100 people have been killed in the three-day violence in Nigeria’s troubled northern region, and the authorities are still searching for bodies and suspects.
According to Abubakar Ahmed, a resident of Bukkuyum, the bandits arrived in Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas in Zamfara State in large numbers on Tuesday night. They opened fire and burned down houses until Thursday.
“They killed more than 100 people,” Ahmed said, adding that as many as 9 communities were affected in the incident.
Ali Yuanka, a resident of Anka, also confirmed that there were more than 100 casualties. In one village, “they killed people 20 years and older,” he said. “Some have been buried, some have been burned, and we are still looking for dead bodies.”
No organization claimed responsibility for the attack, but the blame soon fell on the armed groups that carried out thousands of kidnappings and killings in the northwest and central states of this West African country.
Zamfara Information Commissioner Ibrahim Dosara told The Associated Press that they are waiting for more information about the incident, including the number of casualties. He said that as of now, as the hunt for the attackers continues, a military aircraft has been deployed with security forces.
Africa’s most populous country has been trying to curb the insecurity caused by such violent attacks, especially in the troubled northern regions, but the recent incident is one of the deadliest in recent years.
Just when the Nigerian authorities claimed that they had succeeded in their fight against armed groups. In addition to the Islamic extremist insurgency that has lasted for more than a decade in the northeast, thieves are rampant in northwest Nigeria.
Security analysts and residents say that some robbers-Nigerian authorities have designated them as terrorists-are now teaming up with extremist insurgents.
These groups are mainly composed of young Fulani people who traditionally work as nomadic herders and have been involved in decades of conflict with the Hausa agricultural community to compete for water and pasture.
According to Oluwole Ojewale of the Security Research Institute focused on Africa, the problem remains that Nigerian security personnel and firearms outnumber the attackers.
“We don’t have enough security in Zamfara State, but (in) some areas, we don’t have any security at all,” said Yousef Ibrahim of Guso, the state’s capital.
However, Commissioner Dossara blamed the informant for the continued attacks. “A serious problem is that we have a lot of informants who provide information to these people (gunners),” he said. Experts say that this challenge continues due to extreme poverty in many affected communities.
“The moment you make a strategy, the moment the enemy is making a strategy”