Nigerian police kill over 100 ‘bandits’ in crackdown

Abuja � Nigerian police claimed on Friday that over 100 “bandits” had been killed in a crackdown targeting crime in the northwest state of Zamfara, following a surge in kidnappings for ransom and cattle rustling.

Zamfara has been plagued by violent crime over the past year, with Amnesty International warning in July that people living in the impoverished state were “at the mercy” of armed bandits who take hostages and raid villages.

A joint operation team on Thursday “repelled ambush attacks from armed bandits” at Mahanga Forest in Zamfara State and “in the process killed one hundred and four bandits,” national police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood said in a statement.

The Nigerian authorities had deployed over 1,000 policemen to Zamfara at the beginning of November, the statement said, adding that since then 85 people have been arrested in connection with kidnappings and cattle rustling.

Amnesty International Nigeria spokesperson Isa Sanusi said it was difficult to assess the success of security operations in the remote region. In many cases, the pronouncements of security agencies are quite contrary to the situation on the ground in Zamfara state,” Sanusi said, adding: “Bringing the killers to justice is more important in taming the tide of impunity that allowed the security situation in Zamfara state to continue deteriorating.”

Source: International Islamic News Agency