No fewer than 13 people have been killed following clashes between cattle thieves and local civilian militia in Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria.
According to the police, the local militia and cattle thieves fought a gun battle Tuesday through Wednesday in the remote village of Fankashi in the Maru district of the state.
“Our men recovered 13 dead bodies from the criminal gang and the vigilantes from the village after the fight,” police spokesman Mohammed Shehu told AFP.
“The village was attacked by the bandits, resulting in the fight with the militia, who were armed with locally made, single-shot muskets.
“olice reinforcements were later sent to the area” said Shehu.
Rural communities in Zamfara, just like other communities in the north, have been under siege for several years from cattle rustlers and kidnapping gangs, who have raided herding communities, killing, looting and burning homes.
Following the attacks, the Inspector-general of Police, Ibrahim Idris ordered the deployment of 200 combat policemen in Zamfara and neighbouring Kaduna state, which is suffering similar problems.
This latest incident comes after 27 people were killed in raids by armed bandits in Kabaro and Danmami villages in the Maru district last month, prompting the Nigerian Air Force to send special forces to help drive out the marauding gangs.
It also comes in the wake of devastating attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen in Benue State that’s left at least 150 dead over the past week.