By Sanusi Muhammad Adam
No fewer than 20 people have been killed as a result of an attack launched by suspected cattle rustlers who stormed Fanteka village in Maru local government area of Zamfara state.
A resident told Blueprint in confidence via a telephone chat that the bandits, numbering to over 100, had invaded the village at around 2am on Thursday, last week, on motorcycles and killed over 20 residents.
He said two of the bandits were killed by the community during the encounter, adding that many residents were injured while they were trying to escape from being killed.
“The bandits stormed the village on the early hours of Friday, riding motorcycles numbering to 50, when the community was conducting an Islamic funeral of their deceased persons and abducted some personalities, killing over five people at the cemetery ground,” the resident who does not want his name in print said.
He blamed security agencies and the state government for not coming to their aid despite their earlier complaints on the insecurity in the area.
He also said many cattle belonging to the members of the community were rustled by the bandits and called on the federal government to come to their aid as quickly as possible to rescue them from the bandits.
When contacted, the Zamfara state Police Public Relations Officer, Sanusi Amiru, confirmed the incident, saying the police report available indicated that only nine people were killed, including two of the bandits.
He added that already special squad team of the police had been deployed to the area to restore peace, while the suspects were being trailed to their hide-outs by the police and army to arrest them.
He also appealed to the people of the state to always help the police with positive information on criminals’ hide-outs for urgent measures, stressing that such information would be treated in confidence.