Death toll rises to 20 in Zamfara attack

No fewer than 20 people have been reported killed in clashes between cattle rustlers and local civilian militia in Zamfara State.

The Commissioner of Information in the state, Mr. Mahmoud Sanda, confirmed the new figure to Channels Television on Thursday, as an update to the 13 casualties disclosed earlier by the police.

Mr. Sanda revealed during a telephone interview that majority of those killed in the attack were the suspected cattle rustlers, although some local civilians also lost their lives.

“Not only 13 people; there was an attack by civilian militia against the armed bandits. In all, 20 people were killed. 13 people are those killed from the armed bandits and seven from our people – the civilian militia,” he said.

The commissioner disclosed further that the militia and cattle thieves fought a gun battle on Tuesday through Wednesday in Fankashi village in Maru Local Government Area of the state.

While there are reports that the attack might be a reprisal, he said the state government has yet to ascertain the cause of the incident.

Sanda admitted that the state government cannot tackle the situation on its own, but was always available to support the security agencies in ensuring the safety of lives and properties of residents in the state.

He, however, said a joint security team of military and police personnel was deployed in the area on Wednesday morning to bring the situation under control.

The commissioner commended the Inspector-General of police for deploying about 200 personnel in Zamfara to strengthen the security of the state.

He also urged the Federal Government to deploy military aircraft for aerial surveillance of affected areas, in a bid to prevent a reoccurrence of the incident.

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