Armed bandits suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing many residents.
Some of those killed were working on their farms when they were attacked.
Sources said the armed bandits came heavily armed and opened fire on the farmers who were harvesting sweet potatoes at Garin Haladu community.
A resident said “The armed bandits came around 1 o’clock noon and opened fire on some youth harvesting sweet potatoes at Garin Haladu community and killed ten people.”
He added that “they came back in the evening and ransacked some villages around.”
The source said in Wednesday’s attack, 12 people were killed at Garin Haladu community.
At Nasarawa Godal community, four persons were killed, while at Garin Kaka community, nine people were killed, he said. The three communities are in the same local government.
“Many youth from Nasarawa Godal community ran to Garin Haladu to help the neighbouring community fight the attackers. Among them, four persons were killed by the armed bandits and their corpses were discovered today (Thursday),” the source said.
The source, who asked not to be named for security reasons, named those killed from Nasarawa Godal community as Kurma Garba, Sunusi Mairoba, Ibrahim Yahuza and Haruna Dangodal.
Those four have been buried.
Many were injured and are receiving medical treatment at Nasarawa Godal hospital, he said.
Some, whose situations worsened, were referred to Kaura Namoda hospital in the state.
Affected local government, Birnin Magaji, is the hometown of Nigeria’s defence minister, Mansur Dan Ali.
Most of the villages surrounding Birnin Magaji Local Government Area such as Ballaka, Tsalle, Gidan Kare, Katsinawa, Garin Boka and Garin kaka are deserted due to repeated attacks by the bandits. Residents of such villages are taking refuge at the council headquarters and some other places in the state.
The source stated that residents are now searching for corpses in the bush and there is the fear that the death toll will rise.
Soldiers reportedly came in three vehicles to the area, hours after the armed bandits had finished their operation.
Many local government councils in Zamfara State are battling armed bandits and cattle rustlers with Tsafe, Zurmi, Shankafi, Maradun, Maru and Birnin Magaji local government areas most affected.
When contacted for comments, the police spokesperson in Zamfara State, Muhammed Shehu, did not pick his calls, neither did he respond to the text message sent to him.
Hundreds of people have been killed by bandits in attacks in Zamfara State in 2018. The attacks have continued despite the deployment of thousands of security officials to the state.