Suspected armed bandits have killed at least 41 persons at Birane village in Zurmi local government area of Zamfara state, Nigeria.
According to Daily Trust, the gunmen struck after intercepting a vehicle conveying bridesmaid and traders to the community market.
They reportedly slit the throat of the driver and then opened fire on the vehicle killing all on board.
The armed bandits then proceeded to the community market and started shooting indiscriminately.
The traders scampered for safety as the gunmen continued their assault unabated.
“They arrived in large number and on motorbikes intercepting and killing people who were coming or going out of the village. About 41 people were shot dead within a short period of time,” Hussaini Abdu, a resident, was quoted to have said.
Abdu said a commercial motorbike rider conveying a woman and her three children was killed and his motorbike burnt.
He added that up till now, the whereabouts of the woman and her children remain unknown.
However, Muhammad Shehu, spokesman of the state police command, said the conflict arose after hunters and local vigilantes mobilised and launched a pre-emptive attack on bandits when they heard that they were preparing to attack their community.
He said instead of the residents to give the security operatives timely information to avert the attack they decided to take law in to their hands by going out to confront the gunmen.
“You know Birane is a very remote community. Yet, I can’t tell you the actual figures of the casualties till after the deputy commissioner operations of the command comes back. He, alongside other officers are there to assess the situation and provide additional security measures.”