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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – An estimated 200 individuals or extra have been killed in villages within the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara throughout lethal reprisal assaults by armed bandits following navy air strikes on their hideouts this week, residents mentioned on Saturday.

Residents gained entry to the villages on Saturday after the navy captured the communities to prepare mass burials, they informed Reuters. The state authorities mentioned 58 individuals had been killed throughout the assaults.

Ummaru Makeri, a resident who misplaced his spouse and three youngsters throughout the assault, mentioned round 154 individuals had been buried together with a number of vigilantes who have been killed. Residents mentioned the overall loss of life toll was a minimum of 200.

Reuters reported on Friday that a minimum of 30 individuals had been killed within the Anka native authorities space in Zamfara, when greater than 300 armed bandits on motorbikes stormed eight villages and began capturing sporadically on Tuesday.

The navy mentioned it had performed air strikes within the early hours of Monday on targets within the Gusami forest and west Tsamre village in Zamfara state, killing greater than 100 bandits together with two of their leaders, following intelligence stories.

One resident who declined to be recognized informed Reuters the assaults on the villages might be linked to the navy strikes.

There have been a collection of assaults in northwest Nigeria, which has seen a pointy rise in mass abductions and different violent crimes since late 2020 as the federal government struggles to take care of regulation and order.

In a separate incident, 30 college students kidnapped from their faculty within the northwestern Nigerian state of Kebbi have been freed on Saturday, a spokesman for the Kebbi governor mentioned, with out offering particulars.

President Muhammadu Buhari mentioned in a press release on Saturday the navy had acquired extra tools to trace down and get rid of legal gangs which were subjecting individuals to a reign of terror, together with via the unlawful imposition of taxes on communities below siege.

“The newest assaults on harmless individuals by the bandits is an act of desperation by mass murderers, now below relentless strain from our navy forces,” Buhari mentioned.

Buhari added that the federal government wouldn’t relent in its navy operations to do away with the bandits.

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