BFF-30 Gunmen kill 60 in northwest Nigeria attacks

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Gunmen kill 60 in northwest Nigeria attacks

KANO, Nigeria, May 28, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Armed criminals killed 60
people in a string of attacks on villages in the restive northwest of
Nigeria, medics and residents said Thursday.

Dozens of gunmen — described locally as “bandits — riding
motorcycles raided five villages in Sabon Birni district in Sokoto
state late Wednesday, the sources told AFP.

“We received a total of 60 dead bodies and several people with
gunshot injuries from the villages attacked by the bandits last
night,” a nurse at the general hospital in Sabon Birni said.

A second medic gave the same toll and said “all the bodies had
bullet wounds, most of them were shot in the head”.

Both sources asked not to be named as they were not authorised to
speak to journalists on the incident.

A local traditional leader talking on condition of anonymity for
fear of retribution said the gunmen opened fire on homes as residents
were gathered around.

“We lost 60 people in the attacks. The bandits killed 16 in Garki,
13 in Dan Aduwa, 22 in Kuzari, seven in Katuma and two in Masawa,” he
told AFP.

There was no immediate official comment on the attacks but security
sources said the police would address a press conference later
Thursday.

Northwestern Nigeria has been wracked by years of violence
involving clashes between rival communities over land, attacks by
heavily-armed criminal gangs and reprisal killings by vigilante
groups.

Cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom have flourished in the
security vacuum.

Sabon Birni district, 175 kilometres (110 miles) from the state
capital Sokoto, has in recent times been repeatedly attacked by armed
gangs.

On Monday 18 people were killed when gunmen raided five other
villages in Sabon Birni district, local officials said.

Nigeria’s armed forces last week launched bombing raids against
“bandit” camps in neighbouring areas of the northwest as part of the
latest efforts to curb attacks.

Authorities have previously launched repeated military operations
and local peace talks to try to end the violence.

But so far neither strategy has succeeded in halting unrest that
has killed an estimated 8,000 people since 2011 and displaced 200,000.

BSS/AFP/MRU/1930hrs