Bandits Kill Dozens of Vigilantes in Northwest Nigeria

Bandits Kill Dozens of Vigilantes in Northwest Nigeria (News Central TV)

Dozens of local vigilantes were killed by bandits in Nigeria‘s northwestern Zamfara state on Monday evening after stealing cattle, according to two security sources and a local official.

Bandits, armed gangs that operate throughout Nigeria’s northwest, rob or kidnap for ransom, including from schools.

Sources say that the assailants ruslted some cattle in Gidan Dan Inna and villages around the town of Auki in the Bungundu LGA of Zamfara before the vigilantes pursued them

Recall that in January, the Nigerian military launched air strikes on bandit groups in an attempt to eradicate the gangs.

The bandit conflict in northwest Nigeria is a continuing conflict between the government of the country and various gangs and ethnic militias. The insecurity left over from the conflict between the Fulani and Hausa ethnic groups allowed other criminal and jihadist elements to form in the region beginning in 2011.

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Insecurity, desertification, and possible jihadist influence have all contributed to an increase in attacks. Large-scale weapon smuggling has given criminal gangs access to heavy weapons, hastening attacks. 

Due to underequipped local and federal forces, as well as the harsh terrain, offensive operations into the forest are dangerous and vulnerable to ambushes and attacks. The government’s continued inability to effectively address the issue has allowed insecurity to spread and grow in ferocity.

Bandits in Nigeria have been known to ride into villages on motorcycles to loot and kidnap the inhabitants, killing anyone who resists. Kidnapping is a very profitable venture in northwest Nigeria. Between 2011 and 2020, Nigerians paid at least 18 million naira to free family members and friends.

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