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Nigerian bandits kill at least 20 in village attack: police

Wednesday May 22 2019

Nigerian soldiers

Nigerian soldiers patrol in the town of Banki in northeastern Nigeria on April 26, 2017. Armed bandits on motorcycles stormed into a farming village in Katsina on May 21, 2019 and sprayed the people with gunfire. PHOTO | FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR | AFP 

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By AFP
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KANO,

Bandit gunmen have killed at least 20 people in separate attacks in northwestern Nigeria, police said Wednesday, the latest violence in the restive region of Katsina.

Armed bandits on motorcycles stormed into a farming village on Tuesday, spraying the people with gunfire, Katsina state police spokesman Gambo Isah said.

"They killed 18," Isah said.

GUN BATTLE

That attack happened at Yargamji village in Batsari district, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the state capital Katsina.

A self-defence militia from another village then chased the bandits, ending in a gun battle in the forest.

Police said the bodies of two militia members who were shot dead were brought back and buried from that fight, but residents said more people were killed.

"We lost 11 people who went to fight the bandits in the bush," resident Sada Iro said.

ANOTHER ATTACK

There had also been attacks in a nearby village called Mara Zamfarawa, in which five residents were killed, Iro said.

Katsina state, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Nigeria's capital Abuja, has suffered from a string of violent attacks in recent months.

The gunmen, who appear to want cash and have no known ideological agenda, have carried out repeated raids on villages, stealing cattle and food, burning homes and kidnapping for ransom.

Rural communities have taken up arms to defend themselves.