At least nine persons were reported killed on Tuesday in attacks by armed bandits in Dansadau and Hanhan in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Residents said seven of the victims were killed at a tea joint in Hanhan while two were gunned down in Dansadau, the main town in the local government area.
The police spokesperson in the state, Muhammad Shehu, confirmed the incident but said there was no human casualty ”but hundred of cows were rustled”.
However, residents of the area and hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures to PREMIUM TIMES.
They said the bandits operated for hours in broad daylight in Dansadau town without challenge by security agents despite repeated distress calls from the residents.
Zamfara State on map
According to the residents, the bandits stole ”virtually all cows in Dansadau”.
Residents and hospital officials identified those killed in Dansadau as Ayuba Garba, also known as Gayu, and Janyau Makiyayi, a herder.
Those killed in Hanhan were identified as Musa Bawa, Suleiman Adamu, Shamsu Adamu, Bako Ladan, Rashidu Dan’sanda, Dalibu Isiya and Dantani Sabo.
A resident said Mr Sabo left behind three wives and 13 children.
A survivor, Sani Bawa, is receiving treatment at the Dansadau General Hospital, the source also said.
According to the source, the bandits rode to Dansadau on motorcycles, brandishing sophisticated weapons. ”They shot into the air to scare away residents before settling down to rustle the cows.”
Residents blamed the impunity of the bandits on the alleged nonchalant attitude of the security agents stationed in the area.
They said kidnappings and cow rustling had persisted in Dansadau area because security agents seldom respond to distress calls.
The police spokesperson insisted that cows were rustled, but no one died in the two attacks.
“No death was recorded, residents might be referring to casualty figures in previous attacks, but for the latest incident in Dansadau, no reported case of death,” Mr Shehu said.