No less than 20 people have been killed by gunmen in Tungar Kwana village in Talata Mafara local government area of Zamfara State, residents and police have said.
According to residents, a gang of motorcycle-riding gunmen stormed the community after blocking the community’s entry and exit points, and thereafter proceeded to unleash terror.
The police spokesman, Mohammed Shehu, who confirmed the incident, said that the gunmen shot residents of the community.
In addition, residents said the attack was well planned and coordinated, and the gunmen reportedly stole many livestock and escaped to the forest.
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There are allegations that the attack was in retaliation for the massive ongoing onslaught by Nigerian security forces against the armed bandits in their hideouts in surrounding forests. According to Shehu, the bandits regard the rural residents as informants for the security agencies.
Many residents have since fled the community in fear, while those left behind have pleaded with the government to deploy more security personnel to the area.
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The Emir of Talata Mafara, Bello Muhammed, led the funeral prayer for the victims on Wednesday morning.
The police spokesman has assured the residents that calm will be restored. He said, “The gunmen see the villagers as a soft target to avenge the ongoing offensive against them. The area is calm as more security personnel are deployed, and the criminals would be arrested to face the weight of the law.”