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Friday June 21, 2024

Nigeria gunmen kill 50 in raid on northwest village, say residents

Katsina police authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment

By Reuters
June 11, 2024
A representational image of Nigerian soldiers in the state of Zamfara. — Reuters/file
A representational image of Nigerian soldiers in the state of Zamfara. — Reuters/file

ABUJA: At least 50 people were killed and an unspecified number kidnapped, including women and children, when gunmen attacked the village of Yargoje in northwest Nigeria at the weekend, residents said on Monday.

A year after President Bola Tinubu came to power promising to end widespread insecurity, attacks in the northwest by armed gangs, often referred to as bandits, have become almost routine, with authorities seemingly powerless to stop them.

Dozens of gunmen on motorbikes stormed Yargoje in the Kankara local government area of Katsina state late on Sunday, according to resident Hassan Ya’u.

“They shot sporadically at people, claiming the lives of more than 50 (of us), including my younger brother,” he said, adding that an unknown number of villagers had been abducted and properties looted.

Another resident, Abdullahi Yunusa Kankara, said he narrowly escaped the onslaught and that it continued into the early hours of Monday. “Our town has turned into a death zone. Almost every house in the village has fallen victim to this attack.”

Kankara added: “We are currently carrying out a headcount to determine how many people have been abducted. More dead bodies were recovered this morning.”

Katsina police authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Attacks in rural areas and kidnapping for ransom are rife in northern Nigeria, a region blighted by a 15-year-long Islamist insurgency in the northeast and frequent deadly clashes between farmers and herders in north-central areas.