A fresh crisis orchestrated by unknown gunmen at a mining site in Zamfara State, has left 26 people dead. The incident occurred after the armed gunmen who invaded two villages in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State, attacked a mining site at Kuru-kuru village and also ambushed some people from the neighbouring Jarkuka village as they mobilized to bring help to Kuru-kuru.
Speaking to a NAN correspondent, a witness identified as Sadi Musa, said scores of people were killed at the mining site on Wednesday evening which forced the miners to flee for safety. However when residents from the nearby Jarkuka came later to join the Kuru-kuru survivors in burying the dead, the gunmen attacked again, and killed more people.
The State Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Mohammed Shehu who confirmed the incident, said “we are aware of the attack but I cannot give you details now until my commissioner is fully briefed”.
This is not the only time Zamfara State has been attacked by unknown gunmen in recent times. Few weeks ago, it was reported that cattle thieves killed 15 herders in a bout of violence in northern Nigeria’s herding communities, police and a local official said confirmed.
“Armed bandits attacked Bawon-Daji village yesterday and killed 15 people,” the police spokesman for Zamfara state, Muhammad Shehu, told AFP. His account was corroborated by a senior local government official, Gado Anka.
Anka told AFP motorcycle-riding gunmen stormed the remote village in Anka district around 1:00 pm (1200GMT), shooting dead 12 residents before fleeing to a hideout in the bush.
“They returned two hours later and attacked mourners during the funeral of the victims in the cemetery, killing three more and injuring several others,” he said.
Rural communities in the agrarian state are under siege from gangs who kill, loot and torching homes. This has prompted villages to form vigilante groups — which in turn are often accused of extra-judicial killings of suspected cattle thieves, prompting deadly reprisals by the gangs.