KANO, NIGERIA (AFP) – Police in northwest Nigeria’s Kebbi state told AFP yesterday that the death toll from an attack by a gang of cattle thieves on seven villages on Thursday had risen to 88.
The region has struggled with decades-long communal clashes over resources but more recently some groups have become more violent, looting, killing and kidnapping for ransom.
“Initially 66 bodies were recovered but 22 more have been found,” Kebbi state police spokesman Nafiu Abubakar said, adding that the search for more bodies was ongoing.
Dozens of assailants on motorcycles attacked seven neighbouring villages in Danko-Wasagu district on Thursday, Abubakar said.
The gunmen targetted the villages of Koro, Kimpi, Gaya, Dimi, Zutu, Rafin Gora and Iguenge, he said.
Many people were still unaccounted for yesterday after fleeing the attacks.
“The search is still going on and more bodies could be found. So, the toll is not conclusive yet,” said Abubakar.
Policemen were deployed to the area over the weekend to forestall further attacks, he said.
The assailants were believed to have launched the attacks from neighbouring Zamfara or Niger states where criminals are known to maintain camps.
In April, nine policemen were killed in the area in a shootout with gunmen who invaded a village in nearby Sakaba district to steal livestock, Abubakar told AFP at the time.