Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deadly raids by bandits in north Nigeria kill ‘dozens’

Deadly raids by bandits in north Nigeria kill ‘dozens’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
25-year-old mother Maryam Aliyu (centre) flanked by Rabi Sa’adu (left) and Fatima Sal’Hatu narrate their ordeals with bandits at Bini primary health clinic in Wamako district of Sokoto in northwest Nigeria, on September 22, 2021. AFP

Deadly raids by bandits in north Nigeria kill ‘dozens’

Gunmen from heavily armed criminal gangs killed dozens of people, including 11 security personnel, in separate attacks in northwest and central Nigeria, government officials said.

Northwest and central Nigeria have been terrorised for years by gangs who attack villages, loot and abduct residents, but the violence and kidnappings have become more widespread.

The weekend attacks came shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari called on the army to crack down on gangs, known locally as bandits, who were recently designated as terrorists by the government.

In the first attack on January 29 more than 100 motorcycle-riding gunmen stormed into remote Galadiman Kogo community in Shiroro district, Niger State Governor Sani Bello said in a statement.

“Terrorists, numbering over 100 are said to have invaded the community in broad daylight, killing about 11 Joint Security Taskforce members, several villagers and leaving many injured,” Bello said.

Scores of the attackers were also killed by security forces during the attack, he said.

Hundreds of residents were displaced from their homes and were sheltering in neighbouring communities.

“We have really ran out of patience with the terrorists and we’ll use every means possible to bring an end to this incessant bloody attacks on innocent people,” Bello said.

The governor announced impending “extensive military operations” approved by Buhari in three districts the bandits use as their enclave.

In a separate attack on January 30, bandits rode into Kurmin Masara village in mainly Christian Zangon Kataf district, killing 11 residents and burning more than 30 houses, Kaduna state internal security commissioner Samuel Aruwan said in a statement.

The gunmen also tried to ambush a team of air force special forces who deployed to the area to engage the bandits, but the attack was thwarted, Aruwan said.

In neighbouring Zamfara state, police said on January 31 they had rescued 32 kidnap victims who had been abducted in separate incidents in Niger, Katsina and Zamfara states, some held for as long as two months.

Buhari, a former army commander, has been under intense pressure to end bandit violence before he leaves office next year at the end of his two terms in office.

So far, measures including military operations, air raids and amnesty deals have failed to end the violence.

Last month the federal government officially declared the activities of bandits “acts of terrorism”.

Buhari on January 27 promised communities under siege that he was “more than ever determined to get rid of these outlaws”, claiming the military was “well equipped to effectively confront these enemies of humanity”.

Clashes between herders and farmers over land have plagued northwest Nigeria for years, but those tit-for-tat attacks have spiralled into broader violence.

Gangs over the last year have increasingly targeted schools to abduct hundreds of pupils for ransom. Most have been freed after months in captivity.

Analysts say there has also been growing concern over a tighter alliance between bandits and jihadists from the northeast who are waging a 12-year insurgency against the armed forces.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to