Over 200 people have died in a retaliation attack by bandits following a military raid of their hideouts in Zamfara State last week.
The spokesperson to the minister of humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq said more than 200 bodies were buried, while over 10,000 people have been displaced.
The military conducted air attacks on Monday on targets in the Gusami forest and west Tsamre village in Zamfara, killing more than 100 bandits including two of their leaders.
“We are very saddened by this incessant invasion … and we also worried about the displaced persons who are fleeing in their hundreds from their communities,” Nneka Ikem Anibeze said on Sunday.
Farouq called the past week’s attacks in Zamfara state “horrific and tragic,” giving the first official toll after government’s initially reported a death toll of 85.
More than 300 gunmen on motorcycles stormed eight villages in the Anka local area in Zamfara on Tuesday and started shooting sporadically, killing at least 30 people.
Attackers also rampaged through 10 villages in Anka and Bukkuyum districts on Wednesday through Thursday, firing at residents and looting and burning homes.
Survivors who witnessed the attack said the bandits were shooting “anyone on sight”.
Death toll is still rising as government officials say a lot of people have not been accounted for.
Northwest Nigeria has seen a sharp rise in mass abductions and other violent crimes since late 2020 as the government struggles to maintain law and order.
In 2021, bandits made international headlines with a series of high-profile attacks on schools and colleges where they kidnapped over 1000 pupils. Most were released, some have been killed while others are still being held.