Gunmen on Thursday evening killed at least 22 people in a raid on a gold mine near Sabuwar Tunga village in Dankurmi district of Maru local government area of Zamfara state.
Residents told Daily Trust that the armed men had earlier invaded a nearby village called Koda with the intent of rustling cattle but met fierce resistance.
The residents were said to have killed the leader of the bandits in shoot out and recovered all their rustled cattle.
The armed men organized themselves again and went to the gold mine near Sabuwar Tunga village.
They laid siege when most of the residents were attending a weekly market trading in Dankurmi community.
“They asked the traders who mostly sell soft drinks to come for a meeting and when about eight of them gathered for the purported meeting, they shot them in the head at close range,” a resident identified as Lawali told Daily Trust.
“They then proceeded to the mining pits and blocked all escape routes before they began shooting dead the artisanal miners at close range.”
The resident further explained that the armed men then marched to Sabuwar Tunga community and abducted more than 100 people, including nursing mothers and children.
A nursing mother who gave birth not more than two weeks ago was asked to give her baby over.
The baby was returned to the community but the mother was not spared in the abduction.
“The baby is being breastfed by another nursing woman. One sad and pitiful story about this nursing mother is that her husband was among those killed at the goldmine.
“It took more than 300 local vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai hours to retrieve the remains of those killed because of the fear that the armed criminals might return,” said the source.
“As I’m talking to you know I’m just coming back from the funeral rite of the deceased. A headcount was conducted by the village head and other residents and it was found out that 105 residents are missing,” Lawali said.
The spokesman of the state police command SP Muhammad Shehu, could not be reached at the time of filing this report.