Terrorists in the Birnin Magaji area of Zamfara State have vowed to continue attacking local communities in the area until a unit of soldiers stationed in the area is withdrawn, residents told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday morning.
PREMIUM TIMES spoke to four residents from Birnin Magaji, Mazauda, Nasarawa Mai layi and Gidan Kane communities on the recent attacks that led to the death of 16 people. Several others were wounded during the attacks.
The residents, who asked not to be named for security reasons, also said the terrorists has placed a ban on all farming activities this rainy season in the area until the soldiers are withdrawn.
A resident of Gidan Kane said the terrorists attacked three communities on Sunday night.
“They killed two people in Tunkuda, two in Mashayawo and four in Mazauda. They went from village to village terrorising people. On Monday, they attacked Maituri and killed three people. All these communities are under Gusami Hayi ward,” he said.
He said on the same Sunday, the terrorists attacked Tungar Danjuma and Kiri Fada and killed four people, “it was even more daring because the attacks on these two villages were in carried out in broad daylight when Muslim faithful were finishing the early evening prayer.”
“Bandits are intensifying attacks on communities in our area lately. They have attacked communities like Mazauda, Tunkuda, Tungar Danjuma, Mashayawo, Nasarawa Mai layi and Kiri-Fada in the last two days,” a youth leader in Birnin Magaji told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone
A resident of Mazauda said the terrorists told residents that the attacks will not stop until a nearby military unit is withdrawn.
“Yes, they said they’re attacking us because we’re helping government people to send soldiers and vigilante members to our areas. In one of the meetings our elders had with some of the Fulani bandits, they said since we’re inviting soldiers, they would continue to attack us,” he said.
The Gidan Kane residents the assailants told them the same thing. They said they promised to stop the attacks when the soldiers are withdrawn.
“Because the soldiers are always on alert especially in day time, the bandits are being forced to reduce the number of attacks they carry. Also, when they attack, the soldiers sometimes follow them and kill some of them. So, they felt since we’re the ones informing the soldiers and vigilante group members of their movement, they will continue to attack us,” he said.
When asked how the terrorists launched series of attacks on Sunday and Monday without being challenged by the soldiers, he said the security agents were not informed.
“The soldiers were stationed in Kara Zube village but they go for patrol. When we call them sometimes, it takes time before they arrive especially if they’re in a far community. But they are really trying, l” he said
In Nasarawa Mai layi, the terrorists killed one person and wounded several others on Monday.
“Unfortunately, while the injured were being taken to the hospital in Gusau, they were ambushed by another group of terrorists. They escaped without being hurt though they lost all their money. They’re in hospital in Gusau and are being taken care of,” a resident of Nasarawa Mai layi told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone.
The police spokesperson in the state, Mohammed Shehu did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him by this reporter over the attacks.
Zamfara State, North-west Nigeria, has been witnessing series of terrorists activities for over a decade.