By Rafiu Ajakaye
LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – At least 45 people have been killed when bandits attacked Gwaska village in northwestern Kaduna state, according to a vigilante group on Sunday.
“So far, about 45 dead bodies were evacuated by the braved vigilantes and volunteers numbering 500 with assistance of a handful of soldiers this afternoon,” Birnin-Gwari Gwari of the Vanguards for Security and Good Governance group said in a statement.
The statement said a search-and-rescue operation continues in the area.
“While we commend the resilience of the vigilantes and volunteers, we equally call on the people of Birnin-Gwari to remain calm and vigilant for peaceful burial rites of the deceased and await government response on the massacre of innocent lives and destruction of their homes by armed bandits,” the statement added.
A police spokesman also confirmed the incident, but did not confirm the death toll.
“We are aware of the attack in Birnin-Gwari and we have launched an investigation into the incident in which people were killed. But I am unable to tell at the moment exactly how many people were killed, ” Aliyu Uthman said.
Birnin-Gwari has recorded several attacks by armed bandits alleged to be cattle thieves and other criminal gangs this year.
On April 29, police said 10 people were killed at a mining site in the area.