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Sokoto attack: I watched as bandits burnt my mother, 4 children to ashes – 30-year-old woman

One of the travellers who survived the last Monday bandit attack on a commercial vehicle heading to Kaduna en-route southern part of the country...

A 30-year-old woman, who, survived Monday’s attack on a commercial vehicle heading to Kaduna en route to southern part of the country, has disclosed how she watched her mother, four children and other relatives burn to death.

The woman simply identified as Shafa’atu was travelling to Kaduna with her children, mother, immediate younger brother, a niece and nephew, when they came under attack by bandits along Sabon Birni-Isa road.

Shafa’atu, who is presently at a hospital where she is recuperating from burns sustained from the attack, spoke to journalists in spite of her condition.

According to her, there were 33 elderly persons and many children in the vehicle when it was attacked by armed men believed to be loyal to Bello Turji, a notorious bandits’ kingpin terrorising the eastern part of Sokoto.

“They kept firing at our vehicle until it somersaulted three times and burst into flames. Only me and one other passenger miraculously came out of the bus but the other passenger later died from gunshot injuries,” she revealed.

“I lost my four children, three girls who were grown up and my 10-month-old baby. I watched them, including my mother, maternal uncle, nephew and niece burning to ashes while the attackers were watching with delight.”

Shafa’atu, however, could not continue speaking because of the severity of her condition.

Daily Trust learnt that Shafa’atu and her relatives were deserting the area over incessant attacks by bandits when the incident occurred.

However, her uncle who is looking after her in the hospital, said he participated in the burial of the victims.

“Their remains were brought in two ambulances, we could not differentiate them because they were burnt to ashes. We performed all the funeral rites and buried them according to our religion,” he said.

Editor’s note: This picture was used for illustration