Airstrikes: Bandits hiding behind civilians in Zamfara

Villagers pay levies to bandits before harvesting crops in Kaduna

Bandits are holding residents as human shields after they were harassed out of their camps by the military fighter jets on Tuesday in Dansadau Emirate of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Daily Trust has gathered.

On Sunday, more than 60 people were killed following the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) raids targeting bandits in Mutunji community. The huge collateral damage was recorded when the bandits targeted by NAF rushed into Mutunji community to shield themselves from the airstrikes.

It was learnt that the criminals on more than three hundred motorbikes rode into Dandalla, and were also regrouping around Dangurgu and Madada communities.

“They came in large number and took residents of Dandalla hostages. They told the residents that no one would be allowed to leave the community and that they will all die together since the military has decided to carry out air raids on them.

“Residents reported seeing three fighter jets this afternoon and the jets conducted series of aerial bombardments on bandits’ positions inside the forest.

This is what made the armed men to move to villages to hold residents as shields.

“Nine residents that were kidnapped set themselves free after their captors were reportedly killed on Sunday. The resident spent one month in captivity. They have since reunited with their families,” said a resident, Mustapha Usman.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Bello Matawalle, has condoled with the families of victims caught in the Nigeria Air Force’s airstrikes against bandits in Maru LGA of the state.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, on Tuesday, said he was sad over the incident.

“This unfortunate incident has come at a time when both the state government and the Nigerian military are poised to effectively end the menace of the bandits, especially by taking the fight to their enclaves.

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