At least 20 people were killed in Sokoto state when gunmen attacked a market and torched cars, as armed gangs continue to wreak havoc in the northwest part of the country, a state official and local member of parliament said on Saturday.
Idriss Gobir, special advisor to the Police Affairs Minister, said the armed bandits rode on motorcycles and shot sporadically, killing several people.
“The bandits in large numbers killed at least 20 people that we have seen and counted and set nine vehicles on fire,” he told Reuters by telephone.
Hussain Boza, a local member of parliament in Sokoto, blamed the attack on a lack of adequate security in the state.
A former council chairman of Sabon Birni local government, Abdullahi Tsamaye, confirmed the attack to newsmen.
A Sokoto police spokesperson confirmed the attack but could not immediately say how many people had been killed.
Parts of Sokoto, like other neighbouring states in the northwestern part of the country, are under a telecommunications blockade as part of a security operation to disrupt the operations of the armed gangs.
Meanwhile, Military troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have neutralized several bandits and destroyed their hideouts at Sokoto and Katsina forest. PRNigeria reports.
In Sokoto, airstrikes from the Nigerian Airforce shelled Mashema, Yanfako, Gebe, and Gatawa Forests located in Isaa and Sabon Birni local government areas of the State.
A military source told PRNigeria that the mission was achieved through air strikes executed on 5 October 2021, after series of aerial surveillance missions had indicated that the locations.
“We observed that structures and logistics items camouflaged under the dense vegetation, were being used as staging areas where some bandits from Turji and Maigona Camps and their fighters meet to plan and launch attacks.