Gun­men kill 22, burn houses in Zam­fara

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Shehu Umar,Gusau

Gun­men early yes­ter­day in­vaded Maitsaba vil­lage in Zurmi LGA of Zam­fara State, killing at least 14 people. Wit­nesses said about 60 gun­men ar­rived on mo­tor­bikes, blocked all es­cape routes, fir­ing at res­i­dents and say­ing they had come to re­tal­i­ate the killing of one man sus­pected to be a cat­tle rustler by a mob some days ago.

It was gath­ered that eight people from neigh­bour­ing Birnin Ts­aba vil­lage were also killed in the at­tack when they rushed to Maitsaba to of­fer help. The gun­men also set about 10 houses ablaze, in­clud­ing stock­piles of grains in the lo­cal si­los and other valu­ables be­fore they fled, chal­leng­ing the vig­i­lante mem­bers to “come out and fight like men”. Chair­man of Zurmi LGA Al­haji Ab­dul­lahi Muham­mad Gurbin Bore who con­firmed the at­tack said it was a reprisal.

‘It is a re­tal­ia­tory at­tack be­cause some weeks back a man sus­pected to be rustler stole a camel from Maitsaba vil­lage, then youths mo­bi­lized and chased him to a vil­lage near Ruku­dawa where it was al­leged that he kept the rus­tled camel and killed him and as I speak we have con­cluded the burial of 14 of them’, he said.

A cou­ple weeks ago, about thirty youths in­vaded a Fu­lani set­tle­ment in Zurmi and killed one herder sus­pected to be a cat­tle rustler. Au­thor­i­ties have been ex­press­ing con­cern over such ac­tion by the youth who vowed to rid the area of cat­tle rustlers. Yes­ter­day’s at­tack came af­ter a sim­i­lar raid left more than 20 dead in Tun­gar Rakumi vil­lage in Maru LGA of the state early this year. In Au­gust last year, nine vig­i­lante mem­bers from Maitsaba vil­lage were killed when they went to help the people of neigh­bour­ing Tsanu vil­lage. In the past three years, over 200 people had been killed in deadly raids on Zam­fara vil­lages by gun­men who of­ten said they were on vengeance against vig­i­lantes.

Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer of the state po­lice com­mand, DSP Lawal Ab­dul­lahi, said he was yet to get de­tails of the at­tack from the DPO, promis­ing to get back with de­tails.

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