At least 13 people have been confirmed killed in an attack by suspected bandits on Tuesday in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The police spokesperson in the state, Wasiu Abiodun, said 13 persons were killed and not 37 as reported in some platforms.
The police said the assailants attacked villagers who were harvesting crops on their farm in Nakundna village in Shiroro council area. A statement by Governor Abubakar Bello, however, indicated that the attack spread to another village called Wurukuchi.
The police spokesperson said a police tactical team led by the Area Commander in Shiroro had been drafted to the area. He said the incident was not immediately attended to due to the rough terrain and lack of communication network in the area.
Governor Bello, in a statement by his media aide, Mary Noel-Berje, described the attacks as insane and unacceptable. He added that the act was barbaric and inhumane.
According to the statement, “the governor commiserates with the victims of the attacks which occurred in Nakudna and Wurukuchi communities. He shared in the pains and grief of the victims, reiterating that more decisive actions would be taken to guarantee the lives of the inhabitants of the vulnerable communities.”
The governor said the worrisome part of the security challenges was the inability of the farmers to harvest their farm produce, which he said might trigger food insecurity in the state.
Mr Bello said a coordinated and simultaneous attack on the terrorists by security agents in the affected states would go a long way towards achieving success.
It was gathered that the deadly incident occurred amidst an ongoing security offensive in parts of Shiroro council area.
Attacks by armed groups have continued in the North-west and North-Central Niger State despite repeated government assurance to address the escalating atrocities.
In Niger State, officials said over 151, 380 people, mostly peasant farmers, were displaced by the activities of bandits in the last two years.
The displaced persons were registered in 13 local government areas of the state, with Rafi council area neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna topping the chart with 28,987 displaced persons.
In the Shiroro council area, where the latest incident occurred, over 27,678 persons were displaced within the period.