The killers were also In Kogi State on Saturday morning, where they felled seven persons, including the son of the village head of Okpareke, in Kogi Local Government Area, where former Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Mohammed Chris Ali (rtd), hails from.
And in Plateau State, the police confirmed an attack saturday on Kura Falls, a community in Gashish District, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, which led to the death of three people.
A resident of Zanuka village, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being attacked, said the attackers invaded the village on Friday morning and rustled cows belonging to the villagers. He revealed that a vigilante group, popularly known as “Yansakai,” took on the rustlers and were able to force them out of the community. According to him, the bandits returned later and attacked the village, killing 15 people.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Zamfara State, Shehu Muhammed, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident to THISDAY saturday in Gusau.
Muhammed said, “This attack is purely a case of a clash between rustlers and members of the vigilante group in Zanuka village. Had it been the vigilante group informed the police in time about the cattle rustled by the criminals, an action would have been taken to prevent this attack.
“In fact, on receiving the reports of the attack, our men were mobilised to the village and they discovered 15 dead bodies, majority of who were members of the vigilante group.
“But the situation is under control at the moment, as the police have deployed adequate security to the area to maintain peace and secure the lives of the people.”
The police commissioner appealed to residents of the state to continue to provide useful information to the police in order to combat crime and banditry. He promised that the police would do everything in its powers to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
In an effort to root out the cattle rustlers and armed bandits terrorising Zamfara State, President Muhammadu Buhari launched a special military action, tagged “Operation Harbin Kunama” in Dansadau forest of the state on July 13, 2016. Dansadau Emirate in Maru Local Government Area is one of the worse hit by the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers. The military conducted “Operation Harbin Kunama II” in December 2017 and “Operation Harbin Kunama III” this year.
THISDAY reliably gathered that the assailants, who attacked Okpareke in Kogi State on Saturday, had first invaded the community in the early hours of Tuesday, shooting sporadically and killing some villagers. It was learnt that the casualties followed an attempt by the community to resist the attackers.
The attacks in Plateau State occurred on Friday night on Kura-Falls community of Gashish District in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area