At least 21 people have been killed by gunmen in separate attacks in Talata Mafara and Maru local Government Areas of Zamfara State, police and residents said.
The attacks occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday. Police said 21 people were killed in the attacks, but residents of the affected communities said 25 people died in the attacks.
Residents said the attackers first ransacked various peasant communities and stole hundreds of livestock. They, however, met stiff resistance in some communities and retreated, a source said asking not to be identified.
The source, however, said a day later the armed men returned on hundreds of motorcycles, armed, and killed many in the communities they initially fled from.
The police spokesperson in Zamfara, Muhammad Shehu, in a statement, confirmed the attacks, he however, refuted some media reports claiming that over one hundred people were killed in the attacks.
The armed bandits attacked with the intention to rustle cows, however, after they were confronted by members of the militia group known as “YAN SAKAI”, they started shooting sporadically, thereby resulting to the death of fifteen (15) people, while seven (7) people sustained a gunshot wound and rushed to the hospital for treatment, the police said.