KANO, Nigeria: AArmed robbers shot dead 20 people on Tuesday in northern Nigeria’s Zamfara state, an area plagued by violent clashes between vigilante and criminal groups, an official said.
“Twenty people were killed today and two others were badly hurt by a gang of bandits in a raid on Kaboro village,” state government spokesman Nuhu Salihu Anka told AFP.
“The bandits stormed the village and began shooting indiscriminately,” he said of the attack in a remote area roughly 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the state capital.
After several people had been killed, the area’s chief appealed to the gunmen to stop firing, but they turned their weapons on him instead, according to the spokesman.
“The robbers shot (the chief) dead and then went door to door seizing cash and other valuables before fleeing,” Anka said.
A gang of robbers killed 23 people in the nearby villages of Dan-Gulbi and Guru in June, in a raid where some of the victims’ throats were slit.
The June slaughter was reportedly carried out by gunmen seeking revenge against a community militia.
Locals said at the time that the vigilante force, which had grown tired of repeated robberies in the area, had killed several people they accused of being gang members.
Northern Nigeria has also been hit by waves of attacks by radical Islamist group Boko Haram, but the worst violence has been concentrated in the northeast and central north, not northwestern states like Zamfara. (AFP)