At least 30 people have been killed after gunmen stormed and set fire to a busy market in northwest Nigeria, marking the latest brutal development in the security crisis currently in the country.
Nigeria is facing its worst instability in decades, facing threats not only from jihadists and separatists, but also from a wave of banditry in the northwest that has killed many and kidnapped hundreds of school children. have been taken, forcing thousands to flee the area.
With President Muhammadu Buhari struggling on an election promise to protect the population from terror and crime in 2015, the government has intensified military operations and a wave of telephone and Internet blackouts in the northwestern states of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna. has ordered.
According to Nigeria, locals reported that 200 gunmen who were seen riding motorcycles in the Goronyo town of Sokoto went straight to a weekly market and opened fire on merchants and shopkeepers. Premium Times Newspaper.
Sokoto governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the attack began on Sunday and continued until Monday morning.
At least 30 people were killed, the governor’s office said. But local resident and businessman Ilyasu Abba told Reuters that there were 60 bodies in the morgue of the Goronyo General Hospital, and that others were said to have been injured while fleeing.
The gunmen, at least initially, overpowered the police, who tried to intervene, and fired sporadically into the crowd, “as they surrounded the market firing in every direction to kill people”. Mr. Abba said.
It comes less than a fortnight after more than 30 people were killed in two market attacks in the same state, in Guadabawa and Sabon Birni, believed to have been carried out by opposing groups. A few days ago it was reported that 17 people were kidnapped from their homes in Saban Birni.
To suppress attacks, the local government had previously banned rural markets in parts of Sokoto state, whose major city is an ancient caravan route to the Sahara and serves as a major trading center for millions of people. .
But violence in Sokoto has intensified in recent weeks as the military launched a campaign to drive away attackers from their forest base in Zamfara. Premium Times, Who informed of Three notorious “bandit gangsters” are believed to have moved from Zamfara to new bases in Sokoto in recent months.
At least 60 percent of the nearly 500,000 residents are believed to have fled violence in the Sabon Birni region alone, local politician Amina al-Mustafa told the Associated Press last month, some taking refuge across the border in Niger.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /