Armed gangs perform lethal raids in northwestern Nigeria

The most recent attacks occurred in northwestern Kaduna state, where 23 people were killed within 24 hours in the local government areas (LGAs) of Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kauru, Homeland Security Commissioner Samuel Aruwan said.

File photo: Members of the security forces ride a truck as they patrol Kankara, northwestern Katsina state, Nigeria on December 16, 2020. (Reuters)

At least 23 people were killed when armed gangs carried out attacks in five districts of northwestern Nigeria in a region where criminal groups frequently raid villages to loot or kidnap ransom money.

President Muhammadu Buhari was under pressure as his military struggled to resolve a decades-long insurrection in the northeast, armed gangs in the northwest, and communal conflicts in central regions.

The most recent attacks occurred in northwestern Kaduna state, where 23 were killed within 24 hours in the local government areas (LGAs) of Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kauru, Homeland Security Commissioner Samuel Aruwan said.

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The deadliest attack was in Birnin Gwari, where 10 people were killed.

The Nigerian Air Force has teamed up with some armed groups at locations in the LGAs Chikun, Birnin Gwari, Giwa and Igabi, the official said in a statement.

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In the northwestern region where Buhari is from, heavily armed criminals, known by locals as “bandits”, have terrorized communities, raided villages, rustled cattle, abducted and burned houses for years.

Armed gangs, sometimes in the hundreds, have generally been motivated by money, but security experts warn that militant groups in the area are increasingly penetrating their ranks.

According to an estimate by the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank last year, violence by criminal groups has killed around 8,000 people and forced more than 200,000 to flee since 2011.

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Source: AFP

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