Nigeria – In Nigeria, more than 100 people were killed by suspected “bandit” militants. The Nigerian authorities started searching for bodies and suspects on Friday after days of violence.
Gunmen on motorbikes arrived in large numbers between Tuesday and Thursday night. They started firing on residents of northern Nigeria. The survivors said that they also burned their homes.
Abubakar Ahmed, a resident of the Bukkuyum local government district, told the Associated Press (AP) that the gunmen “killed more than 100 people” in Bukkuyum and Anka district of Nigeria.
Aliyu Anka, a resident of Anka, said that some bodies have been buried while some bodies have been burned. Reportedly, the survivors are still searching for other bodies.
Ibrahim Dosara, Zamfara’s commissioner for information, told AP they were awaiting more information about the incident, including the number of casualties.
Bandit gang in Nigeria
The attacks have been blamed on bandit militant groups. The government on Wednesday categorized “bandits” as terrorist groups. These gangs use violence and murder to torture the villagers. The bandit groups carry out crimes like mass kidnapping of school children, mass killings, abduction for ransom, cattle rustling, and sexual violence.
The gangs of criminals have been increasingly menacing the North West region of Nigeria. The country’s northwest and north-central states suffer more because of the bandit groups. However, violence increased more in recent times. As air raids in recent days have intensified, reports have spread of bandits fleeing Zamfara state to surrounding areas. Security forces also announced a crackdown to track those gangs. Nigeria earlier also launched military campaigns against bandits in the northwest region.
The bandit groups emerged from a historic conflict between largely Fulani pastoralists and farmers of different ethnic groups. They used to clash over access to water and land. They also used to fight over the boundaries between private farmland and grazing areas.