More than 200 people were reportedly killed this week by armed gangs in Nigeria’s Zamfara State, one of the African nation’s most troubled regions.
The attacks this week took place in the Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of the northwestern Nigerian state.
According to Zamfara state residents who spoke to media, large numbers of armed men invaded up to nine villages in these areas on Tuesday evening, shooting and torching houses.
The violence lasted until Thursday morning. Survivors who spoke to the Associated Press and local media say more than 200 people were killed, with many more displaced from their homes.
Zamfara state authorities confirmed the attacks on the villages. The state commissioner of information, Ibrahim.
Dosara, said authorities are awaiting more details on the attacks. If the number of fatalities is confirmed, it would be one of the deadliest attacks in Nigeria in recent years.
Authorities have deployed military aircraft to search for the assailants, who are believed to be gang members.
This was not the only attack in Zamfara state this week. On Tuesday, while 97 abductees were rescued by the police force, authorities said another tactical police team prevented an attack elsewhere in the state.
Nigeria has been battling violent attacks by marauding armed groups who are intent on looting, killing and kidnapping for ransom.
These latest attacks cast doubt on statements by both national and Zamfara police officials who’ve claimed huge successes in battling gangs throughout the region.