Armed gang kills 48 in Nigerian raid
19 June 2013, 18:11
Kano - An armed gang has raided a northern Nigerian village
and killed 48 people in an apparent reprisal attack targeting a local vigilante
group, a state official said on Wednesday.
"There was an attack by armed bandits early on Tuesday
on Kizara village where 48 residents were killed in apparent targeted killings
by cattle rustlers that have been terrorising the state for some time
now," said Ibrahim Birnin-Magaji, commissioner for information in Zamfara
state, where the village is located.
Dozens of gunmen arrived in the village before dawn on
motorbikes, he told AFP.
"Some of them climbed up the hill overlooking the
village and opened fire indiscriminately," he said.
"They later moved house to house, telling residents
that they were looking for members of local vigilante whom they said had been
He said those killed included the local chief, the chief
imam and the head of the vigilante group in the village.
Many villages in Nigeria form local vigilante groups to
defend themselves against violent cattle rustlers or other criminal gangs,
sometimes leading to a cycle of clashes and reprisal attacks.
Zamfara state, located in Nigeria's northwest, has seen a
number of such incidents.
There was so far no sign of any link to Islamist extremist
group Boko Haram, which has been waging a deadly insurgency mainly in Nigeria's
northeast. Nigeria's military is currently engaged in an offensive seeking to
end Boko Haram's four-year insurgency.
However, the raid is the latest sign of insecurity in
Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer, where authorities have
been largely unable to stop such violence.