At least 41 persons were again massacred in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Wednesday.
The incident, according to the police, was as a result of a violent clash among hunters, local vigilantes and the bandits.
Reports say gunmen intercepted a Canter vehicle conveying bridesmaids and traders to the community market.
The driver’s throat was slit, and the evil men proceeded to have a field day, opening fire on the vehicle and killing everyone in the process.
The victims’ lifeless bodies were not spared either. They were set ablaze.
Baying for more blood, the bandits strayed into the community market and shot indiscriminately at all in sight. No one was spared.
A resident, Hussaini Abdu, said: “They arrived in large numbers and on motorbikes intercepting and killing people who were either coming or going out of the village. About 41 persons were shot dead within a short period of time,” a resident, Hussaini Abdu, said.
He also said that a commercial motorbike rider conveying a woman and her three children was killed and his motor bike burnt.
Police spokesman in the state’s capital, DSP Muhammad Shehu, speaking on the incident, said the violence erupted after hunters and local vigilantes mobilised and launched a pre-emptive attack on the bandits.
They had learnt of an impending attack on their community by the bandits and wanted to curtail it before it began.
Shehu said informing the police of said attack would have had better impact but the locals preferred to take matters into their hands.
“On February 13, hunters from Birani Village of Zurmi Local Government Area intercepted and accosted a herder in the bush with some suspected stolen cattle and sheep,” the police spokeman said.
“The herder abandoned the animals and escaped into the bush, but unknown to the hunters, the cattle rustler went to Isah Local Government Area of Sokoto State and mobilised bandits to attack the hunters.
“On February 14, the bandits ambushed the hunters in the bush and there was a clash that led to fatality on both sides.
“Police/Military and other sister agencies reacted by combing the bush and it’s environs to salvage the situation and discovered 18 dead bodies.
“It is believed that the bandits took away their own members that were killed. Meanwhile, bush combing is in progress so as to further profile the area.
“Mobile policemen/special forces and other security personnel from other sister security agencies have already been deployed to the area to restore peace and stability.”
Shehu said the police have kicked on investigation to arrest perpetrators of the attack.
Victims of the brutal attacks have since been buried according to Islamic rites.
Wanton killings continue to occur in several parts of the country, with the massacre of 73 farmers by armed herdsmen only a few weeks ago still fresh in the memory.