Nigeria: Dozens of people killed by “bandits” over the week-end

Gunmen killed dozens of people, including 11 security personnel, in two attacks over the week-end in central and northern Nigeria, local authorities said.
Central and northwestern Nigeria has been the scene of criminal gangs, known locally as “bandits,” who have been attacking villages, stealing livestock, looting and killing residents for years. In recent months, the violence has increased.
The two attacks come shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari called for a tougher military crackdown on the gangs, recently designated as “terrorists” by the government.
In the first attack on Saturday, more than 100 gunmen on motorcycles attacked Galadiman Kogo locality in Shiroro district, Niger state (central) Governor Sani Bello said in a statement.
“The terrorists, numbering more than 100, reportedly invaded the locality in broad daylight, killing 11 members of the security forces’ operational unit and several villagers, and wounding many others,” Bello said.
In a second separate attack on Sunday, gunmen attacked the village of Kurmin Masara in the Christian-majority Zangon Kataf district, killing 11 civilians and burning more than 30 houses, said Samuel Aruwan, commissioner for internal security in the northern state of Kaduna.
According to the statement, several villagers were shot and injured. The attackers tried to attack the Special Forces deployed to stop the violence, but the ambush was foiled, Aruwan said.
President Buhari, whose second and final term ends next year, has come under fire for his failure to stop the bandit attacks.