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Bandits kill at least 143 people in Nigeria – they shot “anyone on sight”

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“We buried a total of 143 people killed by the bandits in the attacks,” says one eyewitness.

Criminal gangs have always been a problem in the northwest and central Nigeria, but the violence has recently increased.

At least 140 people were killed this week in northwest Nigeria by gunmen referred to locally as “bandits,” four residents told AFP Saturday, but no official confirmation was available.

For years, the northwest and central regions of Nigeria have been plagued by criminal gangs, but violence has increased in recent years. The Nigerian government formally designated bandits as terrorists on Wednesday.

“We buried a total of 143 people killed by the bandits in the attacks,” says one of the four sources, Balarabe Alhaji, a community leader in one of the affected villages in Zamfara state.

Motorbike-riding armed men stormed eleven villages in Anka and Bukkuyum districts on Wednesday and Thursday, killing a number of villagers, robbing and torching homes, residents reported.

Officials and security agencies have made no public comments about the killings thus far.

Babandi Hamidu, a Kurfa Danya villager, reported that the militants riding into the villages shot “anyone on sight.”

“More than 140 people were buried across the ten villages and search for more bodies in ongoing because many people are unaccounted for,” Hamidu said.

Idi Musa, resident of another village, Kurfa Danya, said “the death toll is huge. We are taking of around 150 people killed by the bandits.”

Another neighbor, who gave only his first name Babangida, related a story similar to this one.

All four witnesses claimed to have been present at funerals in their hometowns.

Image Credit: Getty

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