Gunmen kill 40 in central Nigeria: emergency service

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KANO, Nigeria, June 13, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – At least 40 people have died and dozens were injured in raids by armed bandits in eight remote Nigerian villages, the emergency services said on Thursday.

Groups of gunmen riding motorcycles stormed into the farming and herding
villages in Shiroro district of central Niger state on Sunday, firing
indiscriminately and stealing cattle.

“For now, 40 bodies have been recovered,” Niger State Emergency Management
Agency (SEMA) spokesman Ibrahim Audu Hussein told AFP.

“Search and rescue teams are still recovering bodies in the bush and the
final toll will be announced later,” he said.

Dozens of people were injured in the raids which forced over 2,000
villagers out of their homes, he added.

Hussein said the bandits took away hundreds of herds of cattle from the
villages.

The villages include Kwaki, Ajatayi, Gwassa, Barden Dawaki, Alewa and
Sarkin Pawa.

News of the attacks was slow to emerge due to the “difficult terrain” and
poor telecommunication in the area, said Salihu Garba, another emergency
official.

The bandits are believed to have launched the attacks from Rugu forest
which straddles Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.

Kidnapping and cattle rustling gangs have been terrorising communities in
states in the country’s northwest but attacks in Niger state are rare.