A police officer was killed after suspected bandits attacked the Tofa and Samawa villages in Zamfara State’s Bungudu Local Government Area, killing 41 farmers.
Malam Balarabe, an indigene of the area, told The PUNCH that the bandits invaded the area while farmers were planting their crops and others were clearing their farms.
“They came suddenly and began to shoot at the farmers, killing many of them,” Balarabe said.
He went on to say that the bandits also blocked the road leading to the two villages, killing additional farmers who were going home.
Balarabe claimed that 41 farmers were killed in total, and that the bandits did not take anything from the two communities.
“Their mission was only to kill those who went to their farms,” Balarabe added.
“Combined Police Tactical operatives were not alerted till after they (bandits) may have ended their onslaught on Tofa community,” said Mohammed Shehu, a spokesperson for the state Police Command. The exact number of villagers slain has yet to be determined.
“However, as the bandits left Tofa on their way to Samawa village for similar attack, the Police Tactical operatives stationed at Samawa village were quickly alerted where they mobilised and engaged the assailants in a serious gun battle that lasted for hours.
As a result of the encounter, unspecified number of bandits was fatally injured (killed), while others escaped with possible gunshot wounds. No loss of life from the community in Samawa, but regrettably, a police operative paid the supreme price during the gun battle with the bandits,” Shehu said.