Forty three people were killed in fresh outbreak of violence in rural Adamawa and Zamfara states.
Reports from Adamawa State said 30 people were killed by gunmen that attacked three villages in Numan Local Area of the state. Many others are said to be missing.
In Zamfara, 13 people were killed in a clash between suspected armed bandits and vigilantes in Fankashi village, Maru Local Government Area.
Residents reported that the attackers stormed six villages including Bolki, Bang and Gon at about 7 pm on Wednesday night and burnt houses and shot at fleeing residents.
Arnold Jibila, the chairman of Numan Local Government told Daily Trust yesterday he suspected herdsmen to have carried out the attack.
He said the affected areas were part of hot spot for conflict between farmers and herders.
“I am just coming out of the place; so far 30 people have been confirmed dead while many are still missing. Women and children scattered during the attack, so we are still assessing the damage,” he said.
However, the police spokesman in Adamawa, SP Abubakar Othman said the attackers killed 15 villagers and razed 150 houses.
He said a unit of mobile police men had been deployed to restore peace in the affected communities.
The communal attacks occurred two days after a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Mubi where at least 28 worshippers were killed.
Bandits, vigilantes clash 13 dead in Zamfara
In Zamfara state 13 people were killed in clash between bandits and vigilantes in Fankashi village of Maru local government area.
The attack came barely three weeks after 27 people were killed in a deadly raid on Kabaro village in Dansadau district of Maru Local Government.
The spokesman of the state police DSP Muhammad Shehu told Daily Trust that some residents of Fankashi community had earlier intercepted and executed two suspected armed bandits.
He said some days later, the vigilantes gathered in a forest near Fankashi, a village located 20 km north of Dansadau town to hold a meeting on how to deal with the threat by the armed bandits in the area.
“But when the armed bandits learnt that the vigilantes were holding a meeting in the forest, they stormed the area on motorbikes firing at anyone in sight, in what appeared to be a pre-emptive attack.
“However, the local vigilantes resisted them and fought back resulting in the death of 13 people from both sides,” he added.
DSP Shehu explained that security operatives had cordoned the area and investigation had commenced.
However, a resident of the area, Babangida Halilu, told Daily Trust that the attack came after some residents of the community had taken over farmlands belonging to some suspected armed bandits.
“The armed bandits raided the village and carted away many camels belonging to the residents. They demanded to be paid large sums of money before they would release camels but the residents refused to give in to their demands. They, therefore, decided to attack the community,” he said.
Zamfara: 151 deaths in 3 months
With Tuesday’s attack on Fankashi village, the death toll from attacks on the Zamfara rural communities has hit 151 from January to date.
Zamfara state has suffered series of horrific assaults by suspected armed bandits and cattle rustlers since 2011.
In the middle of February this year, suspected armed bandits struck in Birane village in Zurmi Local Government Area and killed at least 41 people.
Some weeks later, the armed bandits killed at least 62 in Bawar Daji, Kuru-Kuru and Jarkuka villages all in Anka local government area of the state.
Anka local government area has the largest casualties from the attacks so far this year following the deadly raids on its three communities.
Many residents lament that there seems to be no end in sight to the menace of armed banditry and cattle rustling in the state.
Four weeks ago, troops deployed for the operation Sharar Daji said they had killed 21 armed bandits near Tungar Daji village in Anka local government, even though they lost two soldiers in the gun battle.
Earlier, governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar had given an order to the security operatives to shoot at sight anyone they found bearing illegal firearms or any kidnapper in the state.
A couple of weeks ago, suspected armed bandits killed at least 27 people in attacks on Kabaro and Danmani villages in Maru local government area.
The attack on Kabaro, a village located 24 km west of Dansadau town came six years after at least 18 people were shot dead by armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the same community. Many residents were killed in a similar raid on the community in October 2012.
The troubled Dansadau district is one of the areas hard hit by the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers. The notorious cattle rustling kingpin called Buharin Daji was killed in a forest near Dansadau town sometime ago.