About 70 bodies were prepared for mass burial on Thursday following a string of attacks by gunmen in Nigeria’s northwest region, according to multiple sources.
The gunmen, believed to be bandits, rode on motorbikes and estimated to be in their hundreds stormed the villages of Garki, Dan Aduwa, Kuzari, Katuma, and Masawa, all about three kilometers from the town of Sabon Birrnin Gobir in the northern state of Sokoto on Wednesday.
The Sokoto State governor Aminu Tambuwal also confirmed the incident in a statement sent to Xinhua.
“This development is most discomforting considering the fact that myself and the entire security architecture of the state had on Tuesday visited the area and had fruitful discussions with the traditional leaders and other stakeholders on how to nip these unfortunate incidents in the bud,” Tambuwal said.
Local sources told Xinhua that the gunmen opened fire on residents of the adjoining villages as they gathered for regular daily meetings. Many others were seriously injured, a top security officer said, craving for anonymity.
A local government worker told Xinhua that close to 70 bodies were gathered for burial Thursday evening, to be witnessed by Governor Tambuwal and other local officials, including the state’s police chief who will at the same time assess the extent of the havoc caused by the gunmen.
Medics at a public hospital in the Sabon Birni district said the casualty figure may rise as rescue workers were still transporting bodies and wounded persons following the attacks.
The state’s police said they would address a press conference later, after an on-the-spot assessment of the havoc caused by the gunmen.