Terrorists attack Zamfara community, kill seven police officers, six others

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Seven mobile police officers, one community protection guard, and five civilians were killed when terrorists attacked Magarya, a community in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, in an attack that lasted for over three hours.

Several houses, shops, a primary school, and vehicles were also razed by the terrorists in the Wednesday night attack on the community.

“It was the most horrendous day of my life,” said Muhammad Shariff, who said his oldest brother’s house was one of those attacked by the terrorists. “They didn’t come with the intention of abducting anyone but to kill and scare us from living in the community.”



Residents fleeing Magarya after the attack

Shariff said the fire in his brother’s house affected his house, “burning down everything in my sitting room.”

Another resident, Abdullahi Mohammed, who is now seeking refuge in Zurmi town, said he has started making plans to relocate to the state capital due to the frequency of attacks on local communities.

“People are leaving the town (Magarya) in large numbers. I was among those who left very early today (Friday). Last night is something I’ll never forget; all you could hear were gunshots,” he said.

Some of the terrorists, according to survivors, surrounded the village while the others went inside. The police officers and members of the state’s security outfit stationed in the community confronted the terrorists.

The firefight between the security agents and the terrorists lasted for some minutes before the security officials were overpowered.

“It’s obvious the terrorists were ready and had more weapons. We appreciate the security men because they tried their best,” one resident said, asking not to be named for security reasons.

All seven mobile policemen and the protection guard were killed during the exchange of fire, while the five residents were killed while trying to run out of the community.

“It was one of the most heartless attacks in this community,” Hamisu Sulaiman, a resident, said. “Those (terrorists) stationed outside the community opened fire on our people running out of town.”
Confirming the attack to journalists, the Zamfara State police commissioner, Muhammad Dalijan, said over 300 terrorists carried out the attack.

“They surrounded our men and opened fire on them, thereby killing seven of them and injuring several others. The bandits were not happy with our men, who had prevented them from carrying out their heinous act for over two years now. Since the deployment of police to the area, the bandits could not have a chance to attack the village,” he said.

In recent weeks, terrorists operating in the North-west have intensified their activities in the region. Many residents believe the intensified attacks are to prevent residents, mostly farmers, from accessing their farms for the ongoing planting season.

Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists, locally called bandits, in recent years despite the actions of security agencies.