Villagers in Zamfara in fear after gunmen issue threats

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Barely a week after unknown gunmen besieged Kizara village in Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State and killed over 60 people, gunmen returned to Bawar Daji village in Anka LGA of the state in the early hours of yesterday, fired shots sporadically in the air and threatened the villagers.

According to the local council chairman, Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed, the gunmen who were about 40 in number shot in the air and warned peasant farmers to keep away from grazing lands or face serious consequences.

The police could not access the village as the gunmen were carrying sophisticated rifles that were more dangerous than those handled by the police, he said.

According to the fleeing village head, the attackers were Fulani herdsmen who invaded the community with AK-47 rifles and barricaded every possible exit road to stop some peasant farmers, who allegedly took over some portions of land reserved for cattle rearing in the area, from escaping.

The village head who briefed newsmen at the state police command shortly after reporting the incident, said the attackers who came in military attire had been sending warning letters ahead of the attack, informing some of the community elders, including the district head, that they were coming to invade the community.

He said that, sometime in May, a similar group had invaded the village and destroyed many houses and shops before they carted away dozens of motorcycles. In the process, one Muhammad Dogo, who was alleged to be their team leader, was killed by the members of a vigilante group.

Muhammad  further narrated that he and some other lucky individuals managed to escape, “leaving behind our families to the mercy of Allah” as security personnel were not armed enough to face the Fulani gunmen.

Several calls and text messages to the police public relations officer and police commissioner Akila Usman Gwary were not replied.

 

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