Suspected bandits have killed at least 51 persons in attacks on six communities in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The communities include Kadawa, Kwata, Maduba, Ganda Samu, Saulawa and Askawa.
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Hundreds of residents have been displaced as a result of the attacks, with many of them, including women and children, taking shelter in Dauran and Zurmi towns.
Residents said armed men riding on motorbikes stormed the communities, firing at people.
“The armed men were chasing the residents into their houses and on to farms were they were shot dead,” a source said.
In recent weeks, Zurmi local government has witnessed a spike in deadly raids.
Last week, aggrieved youths blocked Gusau-Kaura Namoda- Zurmi road to protest the unending killings.
Before then, there was a protest at the palace of Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.
The bodies of the residents killed in the fresh attacks have already been recovered and brought to Dauran, a community located about 10 kilometres west of Zurmi town, headquarters of Zurmi local government area.
“Several other bodies are yet to be recovered from the surrounding bushes although efforts are being made to recover them so that they can be properly buried.”
“There was fear that the armed men might return and kill those performing the funeral rites. That is why we decided to ferry the bodies to Dauran community.
“So far, we have buried 28 victims in the community. As I’m talking to you, we have just finished the funeral rites. Mass burials were conducted on the victims,” a resident simply identified as Haruna told Daily Trust.
The spokesman of the state police command, SP Muhammad Shehu, said the police had brought 14 bodies for burial at Unguwar Gwaza cemetery in Gusau, the state capital.
He said the state commissioner of police Mr Hussaini Rabiu, was at Dauran community.
On Friday afternoon, Governor Bello Matawalle asked Zamfara residents to defend themselves against killers.