The pre-dawn attack on Tara village is the latest in a series of attacks by criminal gangs known locally as “bandits” who have terrorized communities for years. The attackers also stole 100 cows.
File Photo: Security Forces members ride a truck while patrolling Kankara, northwestern Katsina State, Nigeria, on Dec. 16, 2020. (Reuters)
At least 16 people were killed and nine others injured when armed men attacked a village in northwestern Nigeria near the Niger border.
The pre-dawn attack on Friday’s Tara village, Sokoto state, is the latest in a series of attacks by criminal gangs known locally as “bandits” who have been terrorizing, killing, looting and kidnapping communities for years.
“The armed men came on motorcycles and opened fire on the village,” said Lawwali Umeh, a resident.
“We buried 16 bodies this afternoon. Nine more are seriously injured,” added Umeh.
An official from the region, Saidu Naino Ibrahim, confirmed the death toll and said the injured were being treated at a hospital.
“The attackers took away more than 100 cows,” he added.
Legislators said the bandits came from Dogon Zango in the neighboring state of Zamfara.
CONTINUE READING: Nigeria’s Mass Kidnappings: A Timeline
Bandits are known to operate from camps in the Rugu Forest, which stretches across the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger.
The Nigerian military, stationed in the region in 2016, and a peace deal with some bandits were signed in 2019, but attacks continued.
“The bandits raided villages in the area … moved from village to village, killed and looted,” Ibrahim said.
“We don’t know which village will be attacked next,” the resident worried.
Police confirmed in a statement that there was an attack by bandits in Tara, without giving details.
CONTINUE READING: Armed bandits struck northwestern Nigeria in two separate deadly attacks
Escape from Nigeria
On Tuesday, the UN refugee agency warned that “the increasing violence in northwestern Nigeria … has fueled displacement to neighboring Niger”.
More than 7,660 refugees – mostly women and children – have fled Nigeria to Maradi since January alone, UNHCR said.
CONTINUE READING: Many dead in gang attacks on villagers in northern Nigeria