Accessibility links

Breaking News

Nigerians Ambushed by "Bandits": Authorities

FILE - Pastoralists graze their cattle near some farms in the outskirts of Sokoto, Sokoto state, Nigeria, April 22, 2019. Reports suggest conflict between Fulani herders and Hausa farmers plays a role in the recent surge in violence in northwest Nigeria.

Armed gangs, known as "bandits" killed tens of local vigilantes in Nigeria's northwestern Zamfara state on Monday evening after stealing cattle, two security sources and a local official said on Tuesday.

Sources told Reuters that bandits rustled cattle in the Zamfara community of Gidan Dan Inna and villages around the town of Auki in the Bungundu local government area before being pursued by local vigilantes.

"The vigilantes didn't know that the bandits had laid an ambush for them ... they opened fire on the vigilantes while riding into the bush on motorbikes, killing about 30 of the vigilantes," one of the sources said.

These "bandits" are rife across Nigeria's northwest where they rob or kidnap for ransom, including from schools. Thousands of people have been killed in bandit attacks in recent years.

Nigeria's military has tried to stamp out the gangs and launched air strikes on bandits groups in January.

A local government official from the area who lives in the state capital, Gusau, confirmed the incident on condition of anonymity.

"It is a painful, double loss to us," he said.