Around 200 killed in deadly attacks by armed bandits in Nigeria, say residents
Following military air strikes on hideouts of armed bandits this week, around 200 people have been killed in villages of the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara in deadly reprisal attacks, residents said on Saturday.
The state government has, however, put the death toll of the attacks at 58.
After the military captured the area to hold mass burials, residents gained access to the villages, they told Reuters.
Around 154 people had been buried, including several vigilantes, who were also killed, said Ummaru Makeri, a resident, who lost his wife and three kids in the attack.
Residents claim that at least 200 people have died in total.
In the early hours of Monday, the military conducted air strikes on targets in the Gusami forest and west Tsamre village in Zamfara state, killing over 100 bandits including two of their leaders.
In a statement on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari said the military acquired more equipment to track and crush criminal gangs, who have been subjecting people to a reign of terror. They have also imposed illegal taxes on communities under siege.
"The latest attacks on innocent people by the bandits is an act of desperation by mass murderers, now under relentless pressure from our military forces," Buhari said.