DEATH TOLL RISES IN ZAMFARA BANDITS ATTACK AS 23 ARE BURIED

Abubakar Ahmadu Maishanu
Recall that we initially reported 10 people dead over the latest attack by bandits in Zamfara.

The death toll from Saturday’s attack on Ruwan-Tofa community of the State has risen to 23, residents said.

Residents also said they got a hint of the planned attack three days before and were shocked that despite alerting relevant authorities, the armed bandits attacked the community unchallenged.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that at least 10 people were killed in the attack on the community which is in Dansadau district of Maru Local Government Area.

The police also confirmed, on Sunday morning, that 10 people were killed.

Residents, however, said some of the injured people taken to the Dansadau hospital died while some bodies of slain residents were also found in the bush, thus raising the death toll.

Over a dozen injured residents were still receiving treatment at the Dansadau hospital as of Sunday evening, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

The Saturday attack is the deadliest in three years since bandits began attacking the area, said resident Mu’azu Yusuf, who was recently appointed special assistant to the state governor

Mr Yusuf said Ruwan-Tofa, unlike other communities in Dansadau district of Maru local government had not suffered attacks for three years because of the bravery of the residents.

He said three years ago, some gunmen had attacked Ruwan-Tofa but were repelled with many of them killed when volunteers and the military combined forces to rout the assailants.

He confirmed that residents got wind of Saturday’s attack three days earlier and passed the information to the relevant authorities. He lamented that nothing was done to prevent the attack despite the warnings.

“I specifically called the state’s commissioner for security affairs, Abubakar Dauran, and soldiers in charge of the operations around the area. Also, I informed the traditional ruler in Dansadau but nothing was done,” Mr Yusuf told PREMIUM TIMES.

He said security agents only arrived the community after the bandits had fled. He said the security agents later participated in the burial of those killed in the attack.

Mr Yusuf and other residents confirmed that 23 people were buried between Saturday and Sunday, following the attacks.

When contacted, the security commissioner, Mr Dauran, said the government has deployed more security officials to the area to check the infiltration of bandits from neighbouring Katsina and Kaduna states.

 

He said 14 people and not 23 persons were killed in the attack on Ruwan-Tofa.

The commissioner did not dispute the allegation that the government got intelligence report from residents but failed to respond to avert the attack.

But he said efforts were ongoing to protect the residents amidst a difficult terrain.

“Its not that we didn’t do anything, the area is a bushy terrain and connects Katsina and Kaduna states. The gunmen are now infiltrating the Maru Dansadau axis because of the ongoing operations in Katsina State,” Mr Dauran said.

The spokesperson of the military’s Operation Hadarin Daji, Y. A. Ibrahim, did not call back after asking for time to comment on the allegation that they were tipped about the attack but failed to act.

He also did not respond to several phones calls later.

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