Atleast 58 people have been confirmed dead and dozens of other villagers were currently battling for survival after they sustained varying degrees of injuries during bandits attacks on their communities in Zamfara State.
The deceased and injured villagers were said to include members of the local vigilantes that tried to repel the gunmen during an attack that lasted for two days across the four communities in Anka and Bukkuyum Local Governments.
Of the 58 victims, 36 people were identified to have been killed by the gunmen in Bukkuyum local government area while the 22 others died during the attacks in Anka.
After killing and inflicting residents with injuries of different degrees, eyewitnesses claimed that the bandits, who were declared by the Federal Government as terrorists set their victims’ houses ablaze.
The casualty figures and the destruction of property worth millions of naira were confirmed by the traditional rulers in both local government and the State Government.
Meanwhile, scores of bandits were confirmed to have been neutralised following an exchange of gunfire with troops who were on patrol on Tsafe-Funtua road on Friday.
It was gathered that the bandits were sighted on their way to attack commuters on the road when the troops engaged them in a gun duel.
Some residents claimed that soldiers also lost their lives during the encounter that many commended the military for their intervention on the state.
The state governor, Bello Matawalle, visited the injured personnel on Saturday, assured Nigerians particularly the residents that the military troops were determined to flush the bandits out of the state.
Matawalle, during his spot assessments of the damage done by the bandits, said that strategies were being put in place to halt the bandit attacks.
“Yesterday, we had a meeting up to 12:00am, Commissioner for Security, Army commandant, the director of DSS and others, we have already strategized and you are going to hear the results very soon maybe by Monday you will hear what we have done,” the governor said.
He also applauded the Federal Government’s declaration of bandits as terrorists, adding that it will help the military and other laws enforcement agencies in flushing out criminals.
“We have all been waiting for this declaration, and I am personally happy with this declaration because before our military was not able to use some equipment to fight these bandits but with this declaration, now they can be able to use any possible weapons to sweep out these criminals,” he said.
“We have started discussing with the higher authority on the best way the Tucano will be deployed to Zamfara State so that all the grey areas are going to be cleared Insha Allah.”