The Zamfara State Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, on Thursday confirmed the killing of seven persons by bandits at Malele village, Mutunji District of Dansadau emirate in Maru Local Government Area of the state.
However, an eyewitness put the number of those killed as no fewer than 19.
Dauran told newsmen in Gusau that the incident occurred on Tuesday at Malele village.
The commissioner said: “The Emir of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar, had informed me of the Tuesday Malele village attack by the bandits, which left seven innocent persons dead.
“We earlier have been receiving reports by locals that they noticed the incursion into the state by suspected armed bandits who we believe are those running away from the neighbouring states of Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger, having been pursued by the security from those states.
“We are however lucky that after the attack on the Malele community, the bandits had disagreement between themselves and they killed each other, but we have no information of an attack on any other community around Dansadau.”
However, Mahammadu Malele, an eyewitness, told journalists that the bandits had on the day of the attack blocked the Gusau-Dansadau Road, close to Malele village, where they killed three persons, including a 15-year-old girl, whose name was given as Fatima, before they entered Malele.
Malele said the bandits also wreaked havoc at Babban Kwari, a neighbouring village, where they killed scores and burnt their houses and properties.
He said 16 corpses, comprising 14 males and two females, were recovered after the attacks.
He said all the victims had been buried according to Islamic rites in the presence of the Emir of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar.