Bandits have killed five locals and abducted over 50 others in Gora Namaye village in Zamfara State, police have said.
The incident occurred very early on Monday in Maradun Local Government Area.
While eyewitnesses said eight people lost their lives to the attack, police authorities in the state insisted that five people were killed.
The spokesman for the command, Mohammed Shehu, had initially put the figure of those abducted from the town at 25.
He later gave an updated figure, saying 50 people were abducted after “thorough findings” by the police.
Shehu said the police have drafted tactical operatives to pursue the bandits and rescue the kidnapped victims.
An indigene of Gora Namaye, Sule Gora, who spoke to newsmen on phone, said the bandits invaded the village around 1:30am. According to him, the attack lasted for over four hours before the armed men left the area.
He explained that the bandits who arrived on motorcycles, surrounded the village and began to shoot sporadically.
“I have never witnessed such a calamity in my life,” the villager said. “The whole village turned to a battleground and gunshots were roaring in the air.
“Everybody was running helter-skelter and that was how they kidnapped our people who were trying to leave the village and run into the bush, not knowing that the bandits have surrounded the entire village.”
He explained that the bandits targeted a former Commissioner of Local Government in the state, Yahaya Gora, who was out of the village at the time of the attack.
Another source in the village, who prefers to be unnamed, said that the Mobile Police Unit stationed in the village engaged the bandits in a gunfight which forced the bandits to flee, leaving two AK-47 rifles and an RPG launcher.
He, however, lamented that the bandits later sent a letter to the village in the evening, threatening to come back to pick the weapons they dropped.
Due to the incident and attacks in other places, Governor Bello Matawalle convened a security meeting held behind closed doors at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.
As of press time, the outcome of the meeting attended by the state security chiefs, traditional rulers, Council of Ulama, and other security stakeholders, has yet to be revealed by the authorities in Zamfara.