A gang of armed bandits believed to be former cattle rustlers has killed at least 51 adults and children in a village in northern Nigeria, burning down homes.
Amongst the rows of dead bodies in Gwaska, in the Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna state, were children under the age of 10. Some bodies were mutilated.
Survivors say the attackers surrounded Gwaska on Saturday afternoon, according to the BBC.
BreezeReporters recalls that the incident occurred less than 48 hours after Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP) and Mohammed Mohammed, general officer commanding (GOC), 1 division, Nigerian army visited the area.
Idris had ordered the immediate deployment of additional 200 police personnel to the community when he visited, but the heightened security did not stop the suspected bandits from staging the attack.
They set homes alight and fired shots, causing people to flee in panic – many straight towards the gunmen.
Residents have demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government urgently deploy more police and military to protect vulnerable villages on the state border with Zamfara.
Last month 14 miners were reportedly killed in an attack by gunmen in the Birnin Gwari area.
Gwaska residents say Saturday’s attackers used to be cattle thieves but had turned to banditry in the region’s remote villages.
The victims include members of a self-defence force, formed after attacks by well-armed cattle thieves.