No fewer than 29 people were feared killed by bandits in Babban Rafi village of Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
An eye witness and an indigene of the village, Malam Musa Ibrahim, who escaped being killed, told The Punch reporter on the telephone that the bandits arrived at the village on the early hours of Tuesday on motorbikes, carrying AK 47 rifles.
According to him, immediately they arrived at the village, they began to shoot sporadically and killed many people, while others scampered for safety.
Musa explained that the bandits later pursued those who ran away and killed some of them.
He said, “I was one of those who ran into the bush. I managed to escape because I was able to climb a tree where I could not be seen.”
He maintained that the bandits also carted away with many animals and foodstuffs when they discovered that there was nobody left in the village.
Musa explained that the villagers buried 21 bodies after the attack, while eight bodies were left on the ground as they were strangers.
“We buried 21 bodies because they were natives of the village but we left the other eight corpses because they were strangers who came from Niger State.”
Musa further told our reporter that the figure of those killed could be more than 29 as “many people were still missing and have not returned to the village two days after the incidence.”
Musa stated that the villagers informed the police and the Emir of Gummi of the unfortunate incident.
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Mohammed Shehu, said only 14 people were killed in the village.
In a signed statement the PPRO said, “Zamfara State Police Command has confirmed the killing of fourteen (14) people following an attack on the remote village of Babban Rafi in Gummi LGA near Danko in Kebbi State.
“The attack occurred on the 15th of January, 2020 where a large number of armed bandits suspected to have come from neighbouring Kebbi State stormed the village in the night and started shooting sporadically, a situation that resulted to the death of 14 people.
“Combined teams of PMF/CTU/FSARS attached to “Operation Puff Adder” in conjunction with men from “Operation Hadarin Daji” mobilized to the area with a view to trailing the perpetrators for arrest and to also avoid further attack on neighbouring villages,” the statement read.