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Nigeria: 60 Killed as Terrorists Raid Anka, Bukkuyum LGAs of Zamfara State

  • Migrating terrorists raining killings and terror, using residents as human shields against NAF fighter jets

Besieged by ongoing military onslaught against them, migrating terrorists have killed over 60 people in many villages in Anka and Bukuyum Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Zamfara State between Wednesday and Thursday.

The communities, who are still under siege from the invading terrorists, include Kurfa Danya, Kurfa Magaji Rafin Gero, Tungar Isa and Barayar Zaki in Bukkuyum and Anka LGAs.

The killings started on Wednesday, spilling into Thursday.

Sources confirmed that terrorists loyal to terror kingpin, Bello Turji, who were displaced by Nigerian Air Firce (NAF) fighter jets from their enclaves in Fakai forest in Shinkafi Local Government Area, were moving Southwards of Zamfara when they descended on the locals killing many.

A source at the palace of Emir of Anka said that as at Thursday night, 43 dead bodies have been recovered from some of the affected villages and that the dead include harmless civilians and local Vigilantes called ‘Yan Sakai.’

“So far, 43 people have been brought to the palace and are being prepared for burial. The bodies were recovered from villages that could be accessed…There are other places where attacks have been launched but could not be accessed yet,” the palace source said.

Among the dead was a leader of the Vigilantes who was killed while trying to repel the invading terrorists.

Bemoaning the killings, a source noted that over 60 people have been killed by the rampaging terrorists while another stated that with their lack of restraint in killing residents, the number of the dead could be over 100.

Apart from the dead, several people were injured and their houses destroyed.

A resident identified as Babangida, said the terrorists were moving in large numbers with some of them on motorbikes.

“They fired at residents and torched residential houses and food stores. The residents of the communities especially women and children had to scamper to safety.

“Some of them are taking refuge in Bukkuyum Local Government Area and some other relatively safer communities. The whereabouts of dozens of other residents are still unknown.

“Up to the wee hours of Thursday, displaced persons were massing up in Nassarawa Burkullu community, some of them with serious injuries from gunshots. It was really very pathetic,” he said.

Other residents said that while the remains of many of those killed are being picked for burial, people were afraid to go deep inside bushes to recover the bodies of the slain.

A source said a fighter jet dispatched to the area on a rescue mission could not achieve a lot because, after sensing danger, the terrorists melted into the civilian population.

“The terrorists are using the people as a human shield, making it difficult for the fighter jet to bomb them,” he said.

“The fighter jet came, hovered and hovered but could not do anything because of fear of collateral damage. It left after sometime,” he said.

Sources familiar with the ongoing attacks and some residents said that the armed criminals were spotted setting tents in Gando forest in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of the state.

Gando is a community located near a forest and is 35km south of Bukkuyum town, the headquarters of the LGA.

The community and many other villages in the district are being literally governed by the bandits.

Residents reported that some of the foot soldiers had erected thatched huts in an area inside the forest. They said the criminals were moving on motorbikes with some of them walking with herds of cattle.

“A bandits’ leader known as Shehu Bayade is the spearhead of deadly raids, kidnappings and cattle rustling in communities in Anka, Bukkuyum and Gummi Local Government Areas of the state,” a source said.

“We believe Turji and his boys were invited by Shehu Bayade to that forest. This is because in their own thinking, making the vast forest their abode would make their detection by NAF aircraft harder unlike where they had left.

“We are in serious trouble as a people. We are pleading with military and other security forces to extend their aggressive operations to this part of the state otherwise a safe haven for all sorts of dangerous people would be permanently created,” he said.

As usual, the Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Muhammad Shehu, could not be reached for comments up to the time of filing this report.

Originally published in Daily Trust,

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