Twenty-one residents were shot dead by gunmen who stormed six remote villages in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara earlier this week, the police confirmed on Friday.
The gunmen, believed to be bandits, also attempted to steal cattle from the villagers in Talata Mafara and Maru local government areas of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mohammed Shehu, a spokesman for the police, told Xinhua.
The gunmen first shot dead 15 people on Tuesday, when they attacked the villages in those parts of the state. They returned on Wednesday, riding on hundreds of motorcycles, and killed six more people during the burial of the previous victims, Shehu said.
Local sources said the gunmen were resisted by some youths while mourning their loved ones.
The police said they have launched an investigation into the deadly attacks.
Banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities have recently become rampant in the northwest region. The military high command said they are in control of the situation with ongoing multiple operations against the gunmen.
A week ago, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the military to intensify their operations in that part of the country, particularly to root out the gunmen.