Nigeria: After killing of 19 persons, 7 suspects arrested in Zamfara
Police and law enforcement authorities in northern Nigeria’s Zamfara state have arrested seven people suspected of involvement in a weekend raid on a village that left 19 people dead, the state governor has said.
Dozens of attackers suspected of belonging to a gang of robbers armed with guns and machetes on Saturday raided Lingyado, a remote farming and herding village, killing at least 19 people, wounding six others and burning homes.
Governor Abdulaziz Yari told reporters in his office in the state capital Gusau that the state police chief informed him of the arrests.
“I have been briefed on the arrest of seven men suspected of being part of the group of gunmen that attacked Lingyado village at the weekend, killing 19 people,” Yari said on Monday October 3. “Police and military personnel are in the area looking for the gunmen that launched the attack,” he said.
The pre-dawn attack was in reprisal for the extra-judicial killings of suspected robbers some months ago by local vigilante groups formed by villagers to end spates of robberies in the area, police said.
Those that survived the vigilante onslaught regrouped and started reprisal attacks including the Saturday raid.
“From information I have received, the attackers who are nomadic Fulani invited their comrades from as far as the Central African Republic for the raid,” Yari said.
He said the search for the attackers was being hampered by rough terrain that was inaccessible to even all-terrain vehicles.
“We may possibly request for helicopters from the police headquarters in Abuja in the hunt for the attackers who ride on motorcycles, making it easier for them to move despite the bad terrain,” Yari said.
The attack has led to a mass exodus of villagers in the area to other areas they consider safe.
On August 10, a number of victims were killed in similar circumstances by suspected armed robbers in attacks on two villages in the area.
Islamist sect Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of attacks in Nigeria’s north, but there is so far no indication of the group’s involvement in Saturday’s raid. – Sapa-AFP
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