A terror group led by a notorious kingpin, Damina, has killed 10 residents of Kwanar Dutse in Zamfara State after the community failed to pay the N20 million levy he imposed on them some weeks ago.
Mr Damina led hundreds of fighters into the community a few minutes after 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Kwanar Dutse in the Dansadau emirate of Maru Local Government Area is one of the most attacked communities in the state.
A resident of Kwanar Dutse who asked not to be named for security reasons told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone that the attackers stormed the community after the early evening Islamic prayer.
“We were sitting down outside a mosque when the terrorists drove into the community from all corners and started shooting indiscriminately. Some of our vigilantes tried to fight back but the terrorists have more weapons. I ran into my house and waited for my fate,” the resident, a community leader, said.
The terrorists burnt down some shops and houses in the community during the attack, residents said.
The community leader said his cousin was one of those killed by the terrorists during the assault that lasted for hours.
Another resident of Dansadau town who also asked not to be named for security reasons said his house is filled with refugees from Kwanar Dutse.
“Residents of Malele, Ruwan Tofa, Mutunji and Kwana and most of the communities in the northern part (of Dansadau) are in a critical situation because they’ve become easy targets for the terrorists especially those under Damina. They routinely impose huge levies running into millions of naira on the communities and when they fail to pay, they descend and kill them like animals,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that several people from the community were also abducted by the terrorists.
“It was terrible,” the Dansadau resident said. “One of the women in my house lost her son and two of her daughters have been abducted. The situation is critical. We could only help them with where to live temporarily.”
The police spokesperson in the state, Yazid Abubakar, did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him on the attack.
In November last year, Mr Damina’s group abducted over 100 residents of Mutunji and two other communities in Dansadau emirate after the community failed to pay levies imposed on them for allegedly revealing information on terrorists’ movements to security agents.
What began as farmers-herders clashes in Zamfara State around 2011 has snowballed into terrorism, locally called banditry. The terrorists engage in kidnap for ransom, cattle rustling, armed robbery and other forms of criminalities.
The activities of terrorists have led to the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in Nigeria’s north-west region.