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Gunmen kill 63 security personnel in northwest Nigeria

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed the killing of at least 63 vigilantes from five communities of Nigeria’s North West Kebbi State in an ambush on Sunday evening.

He expressed sadness over what he described as “the brutal murder of tens of vigilante members in Kebbi State by bandits who ambushed them in the Sakaba/Wassagu Local Government Area.”

“This egregious level of criminality is shocking and I want to assure Nigerians that I will do all it takes to tackle this monster decisively,” President Buhari said.

“My greatest preoccupation is the threat to life posed by these murderous gangs and remorseless outlaws who have no slightest regard for the sanctity of life.

“While extending my sympathy to the families of the victims of this savagery, let me use this opportunity to also call on our security forces to be more proactive and redouble their efforts in order to frustrate the operational plans of the terrorists before they even launch attacks,” the president added.

The president’s message was conveyed by Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu.

The incident had earlier been confirmed by the traditional rulers of two of the affected communities in Sakaba Local Government Area.

The state police command also confirmed the killings to Nation.Africa but said the bandits were fleeing from military airstrikes in Niger State when they were confronted by the volunteers.

The Kebbi Police Command Spokesman Nafiu Abubakar said the police did not know the number of those killed yet.

“There is an ongoing military operation in Niger state. The areas affected (in Kebbi) share boundaries with Niger, so while the bandits were fleeing from military airstrikes, the volunteer vigilante members confronted them,” the spokesman said.

He said the state police commissioner has mandated officers of the command to launch an investigation to identify those who were killed.

“They were among those complementing our efforts,” he said.

“They were part of the security setting and helped us a lot in arresting bandits,” he added.

Source: theeastafrican.co.ke

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