Friday, August 12, 2022

At least 100 dead after gunmen vandalize in central Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari vowed on Tuesday that there would be no mercy for those who killed more than 100 people in a series of attacks in central Nigeria.

Gunmen raided and ransacked a group of villages there, local sources said, in one of the worst attacks this year blamed on heavily armed criminal gangs.

Condemning the heinous killings, Buhari promised that the perpetrators would receive “no mercy”.

“He should not be spared or pardoned,” he said in a statement.

Sunday’s attacks in the plateau state and a train hijacking raid in neighboring Kaduna state have exposed a sense of insecurity in the northwest and central regions of Africa’s most populous country.

On Sunday, gunmen attacked more than four villages on the plateau, killing more than 100 people and destroying several homes, two local community leaders and the commander of a local vigilance force said on Tuesday.

Local officials and security forces confirmed the attack, but declined to give the death toll, adding that the details of the attack were still incomplete.

“Many people were killed and homes and properties were destroyed,” Simon Bako Lalong, governor of the state of Plateau, said in a statement.

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A local community leader, Malam Osman Abdul, told AFP on Monday that 54 bodies were found in Kukawa village, 16 local watchdogs were also found dead in Shuwaka village, 30 villagers were found in Gyambahu and four around other villages.

“People are still searching for their family members,” he said.

Bala Yahya, operational commander of local posts working with security forces, told AFP they had recovered 107 bodies, including 16 members of his group.

Another community leader gave a similar figure for the death toll.

Residents said there were mass burial services on Monday in four surrounding villages for the victims of the attack.

Security forces and local government officials did not respond to requests for confirmation of the toll.

Army spokesman Major Ishaku Takwa said on Monday that several villages had been ransacked but casualties were still being confirmed.

The northwestern and central states in Nigeria have long been grappling with a security crisis that has emerged from tensions and conflicts between farmers and pastoralists over water and land.

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As revenge killings turned into widespread criminality, as gangs known locally as bandits, hundreds of members targeted villages for raids, mass kidnappings and looting.

Despite a military operation to drive them out of their jungle hideout, the bandit gang’s attacks intensify.

Last month, gunmen blew up rail tracks and attacked a train between the capital Abuja and the northwestern city of Kaduna, killing eight people and kidnapping several other passengers.

He later released a video showing his hostages.

The train attack came two days after a security guard was killed by bandits on the perimeter fence of Kaduna’s airport, forcing two local airlines to temporarily halt flights into the city.

Nigeria’s ultra-wide security forces are already battling a 12-year-old jihadist insurgency in the country’s northeast, where Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa province operate.

Since erupting in Borno state in 2009, conflict has killed more than 40,000 people and forced more than 2.2 million people to flee their homes.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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