Fulani Herdsmen again, more than 60 people have been killed – including mourners and grave-diggers – in attacks on a village in northwestern Zamfara state since Tuesday, taxpayers have told BBC Hausa. Police say they recovered just three bodies, but residents of Bawardaji village have been adamant that the amount of dead had been over 60. Many other people escaped with gunshots into the bush and also to neighbouring villages. Some of them died the inhabitants said. The assault left 63 people dead. Dozens of people in the funeral procession as well as grave-diggers were murdered.
Police denied understanding of Wednesday’s attack, also stated they fought off the bandits when they jumped the village the previous day. “We had been at the cemetery digging graves to bury those [they murdered earlier], only for us to see them return into a convoy of bikes. We ran and they began shooting at us,” one man said.
Another resident said of the 63 individuals killed in the attacks, 38 bodies were found at a bush.
“When the attackers first assaulted the village, a joint team of military and police personnel was deployed there to fight them off. And they engaged them in a gun battle which forced them to flee into the bush. After chasing them, our guys discovered three dead bodies of the villagers who were murdered by the armed bandits,” Zamfara police spokesman Muhammad Shehu said.
The attacks came less than a week later President Muhammadu Buhari visited the distressed state, and advocated the safety agencies to wipe out “criminality”. “As I’m talking to you today only three people survived from one of those who attended the funeral at the cemetery. Six individuals from my family [attended the funeral] and I survived,” he added.
The gunmen returned into the village on Wednesday and assaulted a mass funeral procession since the community had been planning to bury its dead from the last day’s assault. Bandits first assaulted the village on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 13 people, after obtaining information that a vigilante group had been meeting to discuss how to confront them, the eyewitnesses said.