Violence Persists in Zamfara, Bandits Kill 40 in Fresh Attacks


Hamid Ayodeji

Gunmen yesterday killed 40 persons in two communities in Shinkafi and Anka Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Zamfara State.

The killing is coming barely two days after the police in the state disclosed that 29 people were killed on Saturday by suspected bandits in Shinkafi LGA.

The latest attack also came less than 24 hours after the state Governor, Abdul Aziz Yari, swore to deal with the attackers.

The governor had ordered security agencies to deal ruthlessly with bandits before the latest attack.

The gunmen, who moved in large numbers on motorcycles, were said to have attacked Danjibga and other communities in the two LGAs.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mr. Muhammad Shehu, refused to confirm or deny the casualty figure in the latest attack when contacted.

He, however, said further information would be provided at a press briefing later.

But when contacted on phone, Army spokesman of Operation Sharar Daji, Major Clement Abiade, confirmed the two incidents.

He said the casualties and extent of damage in the attacks would be released later, adding that the operation commander in charge of the operations had arrived at the area to provide security and get on- the- spot assessment of the attack.

The police in the state had on Saturday disclosed that 29 people were killed by suspected bandits in Shinkafi LGA of the state.

The police spokesperson, Shehu, said the victims, in a convoy of vehicles conveying traders from Shinkafi market on their way back to Kwari village in the local government area on February 28, were ambushed by the armed bandits.

He said: “On February 28, 2019 at about 23.45 hours, a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Shinkafi received a distress call that on the same date those vehicles conveying traders from Shinkafi to Kwari village were ambushed by suspected armed bandits, while coming back from Shinkafi Market.

“The police quickly responded by leading a joint team of PMF/CTU and military to the scene of the incident with a view to ascertaining the authenticity of the report and take action that will restore normalcy in the area and its environs and further arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act.”

He stated further that, on getting to the scene, 13 corpses were found, while 16 other corpses, mostly members of civilian JTF were later discovered as the surrounding bush was combed by the joint security operatives.

He also said normalcy had been restored in the area, following an improved deployment of joint police and military personnel to the area, to complement the existing security emplacement.

“The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Celestine Okoye, while condoling the government and people of the state over the unfortunate incident assures all residents of the state that, the police will continue to collaborate and partner with other security agencies and all relevant stakeholders to ensure security, safety and peace of Zamfara State at all times.

“Members of the public are enjoined to continue to support the security agencies in their efforts to rid the state of criminal elements,” Shehu said.