Gunmen kill 140 people in Nigeria: residents
[AlAhram] Gunmen known in northwest Nigeria as "bandidos" killed at least 140 people in multiple raids this week, four residents told AFP Saturday, but there was no official confirmation.
Clashes between herders and farmers over access to land has plagued northwest and central Nigeria for years, with some groups evolving into criminal gangs who now terrorise local communities.
"We buried a total of 143 people killed by the bandidos in the attacks," said Balarabe Alhaji, a community leader in one of the affected villages in Zamfara state.
Hundreds of cycle of violence-riding button men rampaged through ten villages in Anka and Bukkuyum districts on Wednesday through Thursday, shooting residents and looting and burning homes, locals said.
Officials and security agencies have not yet commented on the attacks.
Babandi Hamidu, a resident of Kurfa Danya village said the murderous Moslems were shooting "anyone on sight".
"More than 140 people were buried across the ten villages and the search for more bodies is ongoing because many people are unaccounted for," Hamidu said.
Idi Musa, a resident of another village, Kurfa Danya, said "the corpse count is huge. We are talking of around 150 people killed by the bandidos."
The bandidos also stole "around 2,000 cattle," Musa added.
Another resident who only gave his first name Babangida gave a similar account.
All four sources said they were present at burials in their respective villages.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian government officially labelled bandidos as terrorists, to bring tougher sanctions against convicted button men, their informants and supporters.
In the official gazette, the government said activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta'adda -- meaning bandidos in the local Hausa language -- were "acts of terrorism".
"We labelled them terrorists... we are going to deal with them as such," President Muhammadu Buhari told Nigerian TV this week.
The 79-year-old former army general is also battling a more than decade long jihadist insurgency in the northeast.
About 200 bodies have been recovered and buried after gunmen suspected to be bandits invaded different communities in Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara State.
Some of the communities are Barayar Zaki, Wanu, Rafin Gero, Laho, Lallaho, Kurfar Danya, Dutsin Dan Ajiya, Tungar Geza, Kewaye and Tungar Na More.
SaharaReporters gathered that over 200 corpses have been recovered from bushes as some of the people were caught unawares on their farmlands.
In Kurfad Danye alone, sources said about 140 bodies of vigilante members were buried on Friday.
The bandits, who were about 300 and armed with sophisticated weapons, had on Wednesday stormed the communities on motorcycles and started firing sporadic gunshot.
The terrorists also destroyed valuables, abducted and displaced several persons, including women and children in the affected communities.
Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara State where banditry had thrived.
Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs, who raid villages, steal cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.
Posted by: trailing wife 2022-01-09