A mother and her infant baby have been identified among 13 persons killed on Sunday by suspected armed bandits in Randa in Dansadau district of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Most of the victims were burnt to death in their houses while hiding from being abducted by the armed bandits, a traditional official in the area said.
The incident in Maru LGA simultaneously occurred on Sunday’s night with another in Bakura LGA where bandits reportedly abducted 15 students and killed four security officials at the state’s College of Agriculture and Animal Science.
Local sources told newsmen that over 30 peasants were also abducted by the bandits in the raid in Maru LGA.
A traditional ruler, Mustapha Umar, confirmed 13 deaths and said five others who sustained injuries from the attack are receiving treatment at a hospital in Dansadau town.
Mr Umar, who is the ‘Wazirin Dansadau’, said those killed include a newborn baby who was burnt to death alongside its mother inside a room.
The gunmen set ablaze houses, burning to death people who were hiding from abduction, the traditional ruler said.
The traditional ruler said many other captives escaped at midnight while being conveyed into the forest.
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler said the bandits exploited the recent changes of security formation in the area and perpetrated the atrocities unchallenged.
“It will be good for the security agents to send a replacement before withdrawing the existing personnel on ground. The absence of the security men gave the attackers a free hand,” Mr Umar said.
The police spokesperson in Zamfara, Muhammad Shehu, said he had not yet been briefed about the development. He said he would issue a statement whenever information on it was available to him.