At least 155 villagers have been killed in attacks carried out by fleeing bandits in Nigeria’s Zamfara state.
The bodies immediately recovered from the attacks were buried on Friday as rescue workers searched for more bodies. Civilians are afraid to go into the forests because of the heavy presence of bandits.
The bandits fleeing from attacks by Nigerian Air Force fighter jets attacked communities of Kurfa Danya, Kurfa Magaji Rafin Gero, Tungar Isa and Barayar Zaki in Bukkuyum and Anka local government areas of Zamfara state in North West Nigeria on January 6, 2022.
The bandits were said to be fleeing from Zamfara State as a result of ongoing military operations, when they invaded the villages.
The bandits, who have been declared as terrorists are those loyal to terror kingpin Bello Turji, were displaced by fighter jets from their enclaves in Fakai forest in Shinkafi Local Government Area. They were moving to Zamfara when they attacked the locals.
Eye witnesses said that more burnt bodies were being recovered from bushes and farmlands.
The bandits stole 2,000 cattle, burnt houses and food stores.
Reports say that a fighter jet dispatched to the area on a rescue mission could not achieve much because the terrorists used civilians as human shields.
Zamfara State Commissioner of Police Commissioner Ayuba Elkana, confirmed the attacks and said that security operatives were assessing the situation. He said that it was dangerous to go to those areas due to heavy presence of terrorists.
“Nobody will risk his life to go to those areas because of the large number of bandits there,” he said.
The declaration of bandits as terrorists in a similar category with Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province was Gazetted by the Federal Government on Wednesday.
With the declaration and clearance from the US, the Nigerian military is set to deploy the Super Tucano fighter jets to tackle banditry.
Nigeria received 12 of the fighter jets in 2021 after many months of delay.