Gunmen are said to have slain scores of people in the Anka and Bukkuyum districts of Nigeria’s northwestern Zamfara state after raiding multiple settlements.
This appears to be one of the more serious gunmen attacks on Zamfara villages in recent months.
Various sources have reported differing casualty counts, with some putting the death toll at around 100.
According to reports, the attacks began on Tuesday night and lasted into Wednesday as the gunmen travelled from town to hamlet.
In Zamfara, police and local officials have yet to reply to requests for information on the attacks.
According to local media, the gunmen looked to be fleeing an onslaught by Nigerian forces by relocating to the western section of Zamfara state.
As they attempted to repel the invaders, a number of vigilantes from some of the impacted areas were killed.
Hundreds of people are said to be fleeing to Anka, one of the area’s larger towns.
In recent years, communities in Zamfara and neighbouring states in the northwest have been targeted by groups known locally as bandits.
They are sophisticated criminal networks that operate across vast swaths of land, stealing animals, kidnapping for ransom, and killing anybody who stands in their way.
Thousands of troops have been dispatched by the government to combat them.
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