The death toll in the recent bandit attacks on Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara State has risen to 58, according to government sources.
At least four villages were also burnt down in the attacks which started on Wednesday and lasted for about 48 hours.
Local vigilantes who tried to repel the attacks were among those killed.
While 36 people are said to have been killed in Bukkuyum local government area, 22 others died in the attacks on Anka.
The casualty figures were confirmed by Emirs in both local government and the State Government.
Some unofficial estimates peg the death toll at about 200.
Governor Bello Matawalle visited the injured personnel on Saturday, giving the assurances that military troops are determined to flush the bandits out of the state.
Meanwhile, scores of bandits have been neutralised following an exchange of gunfire with troops who were on patrol on Tsafe-Funtua road on Friday.
It was gathered that the bandits were sighted on their way to attack commuters on the road when the troops engaged them in a gun duel.
Some soldiers were also said to have lost their lives in the encounter.
Zamfara state is one of the worst affected states by banditry.
The bandits, criminal groups in the Northwest infamous for raiding villages and kidnapping schoolchildren for ransom, have been designated as terrorists by the Federal Government.
During his spot assessments on Saturday after the recent attacks, Governor Matawalle said strategies were being put in place to halt the bandit attacks.
“Yesterday, we had a meeting up to 12:00am, Commissioner for Security, Army commandant, the director of DSS and others, we have already strategised and you are going to hear the results very soon maybe by Monday you will hear what we have done,” the governor said.
He also applauded the Federal Government’s declaration of bandits as terrorists adding that it will help in flushing out criminals.
“We have all been waiting for this declaration, and I am personally happy with this declaration because before our military was not able to use some equipment to fight these bandits but with this declaration, now they can be able to use any possible weapons to sweep out these criminals,” he said.
“We have started discussing with the higher authority on the best way the Tucano will be deployed to Zamfara State so that all the grey areas are going to be cleared Insha Allah.”
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