Bandits have killed at least 35 people while injuring several others in an attack on Tangaza Local Government Area (LGA) of Sokoto State.
According to locals, the bandits attacked three communities within the local government area — Raka, Raka Dutse and Filingawa — around evening time on Saturday.
However, the Sokoto State Police Command, in a statement on Monday by the Public Relations Officer, ASP Ahmad Rufai, said 30 residents were killed.
Confirming Saturday’s attacks by armed bandits, the police said the affected communities were Raka, Bilingawa, Raka Dutse, Jaba, Dabagi and Tsalewa villages all in Tangaza LGA.
“After vigilante members from Raka and Bilingawa went to Azam village to warn them, as a result, they ended beating up some villagers who are predominantly Fulanis to stop attacking their villages.
“Consequently, the Fulanis called for assistance; unfortunately, the assistance came from armed men suspected to be bandits on board 20 motorcycles.
“On getting the information that assistance is coming from Azam, the vigilante withdrew to their various villages as such the bandits went after them and killed 8 people in Raka, 7 in Bilingawa, 6 in Jaba, 4 in Dabagi, 3 in Raka Dutse and 2 in Tsalewa Villages, set two vehicles ablaze and six huts also set ablaze, while one Bajaj motorcycle strongly believed to be that of the bandits is recovered at the scene.
‘Bandits Imposed Levies’
The immediate past chairman of the affected area, Bashar Kalenjeni, while confirming the attacks, said 18 persons were killed at Raka, 17 at Filingawa and two at Raka Dutse.
According to him, several of the deceased had not been buried as the bandits dispersed community members who attempted to conduct the burial rites.
The former council chairman said the attacks may not be unconnected with the refusal of the community members to pay levies imposed on their communities by the bandits.
“The bandits imposed levies on their communities and meant to take charge and dictate to residents what and what not to do,” Kalenjeni stated.
“But the villagers refused to succumb, and because of that, they attacked them, killing 37 persons, while several others sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment in General Hospital Gwadabawa.”