No fewer than 70 people have been confirmed killed by bandits that attacked some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
Senator David Umaru, representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, who briefed Newsmen on the attacks on eight villages in Shiroro Local Government Area, which began on Sunday, said the death toll had risen to 75.
So far, at least 40 of the bodies have been recovered, according to the spokesman of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency(NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Audu Hussein.
The bandits, who rode on motorcycles, fired indiscriminately at residents of the Niger villages and stole cattle.
However, Umaru’s death toll conflicted with that of the state police command, which put the casualty figure at 18.
Umaru said in the last six days, no fewer than 57 people had been killed while over 1,000 were displaced. Scores of other villagers were also injured.
Giving the report in Minna, the senator said 19 people were killed in Kwaki village, 14 in Barden Dawaki village while eight died in Ajatawyi village.
In addition, seven died in Gwassa, five in Ajayin Bataro, four others in Bwailo, three in Baton village and two in Giji village.
According to him, the injured are being treated at public and private hospitals within and outside the affected local government area.
Umaru called on President Muhammad Buhari to “come to the rescue of the innocent villagers by deploying military men in the area.
“I am also calling on the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 1 Division of Nigeria Army, Kaduna, to deploy more personnel to save the villagers from the onslaught of the bandits,” he added.
The police, on their part, did not give details of villages where the casualties occurred but said only 18 people were injured.
The police spokesman in the state, Muhammad Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSP), told THISDAY that normalcy had returned to the areas with the deployment of armed security men in the troubled communities.
The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmad Mohammad Ketso, has visited the injured at the hospitals where they were receiving treatment and assured them of government’s determination to secure lives and property.
Ketso who was accompanied by various heads of security agencies in the state, said the government would track down the perpetrators and also bring them to book.