Deadly raids by bandits in north Nigeria kill ‘dozens’

Gunmen from heavily armed criminal gangs killed dozens of people, including 11 security personnel, in separate attacks in northwest and central Nigeria, government officials said.
Northwest and central Nigeria have been terrorized for years by gangs who attack villages, loot and abduct residents, but the violence and kidnappings have become more widespread.
The weekend attacks came shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari called on the army to crack down on gangs, known locally as bandits, who were recently designated as terrorists by the government.
In the first attack on January 29 more than 100 motorcycle-riding gunmen stormed into remote Galadiman Kogo community in Shiroro district, Niger State Governor Sani Bello said in a statement.
“Terrorists, numbering over 100 are said to have invaded the community in broad daylight, killing about 11 Joint Security Taskforce members, several villagers and leaving many injured,” Bello said.
Scores of the attackers were also killed by security forces during the attack, he said.
Hundreds of residents were displaced from their homes and were sheltering in neighbouring communities.
“We have really run out of patience with the terrorists and we’ll use every means possible to bring an end to these incessant bloody attacks on innocent people,” Bello said.
The governor announced impending “extensive military operations” approved by Buhari in three districts the bandits use as their enclave.
So far, measures including military operations, air raids and amnesty deals have failed to end the violence.

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