Nigeria: Gunmen kill 21 in fresh northwest attacks

KANO (Nigeria), June 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Armed gangs have killed 21
people in the latest bloody assaults on villages in restive northwest
Nigeria, police said.

Assailants trying to steal cattle shot dead 15 people in clashes
with local residents in six remote communities of Zamfara state on
Tuesday, regional police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said.

The gunmen — dubbed “bandits” by the authorities — returned the
next day and shot dead six mourners at funerals for the earlier
victims, the statement said.

Nigeria’s northwest has been wracked by years of violence,
involving clashes between rival communities over land, attacks by
heavily armed gangs and retaliation strikes from vigilante groups.

The unrest, which experts say has been spurred by overpopulation
and climate change, has seen an estimated 8,000 people killed since
2011 and 200,000 flee their homes.

Last week dozens were killed when armed gangs raided a string of
villages in nearby Sokoto state.

Nigeria’s military last month said it had launched air raids to try
to stop the attacks.

Authorities have conducted repeated security operations and local
peace negotiations but have failed to end the bloodshed. — NNN-AGENCIES