Mass killings in Zamfar (2022)

Article

January 24, 2022

The Zamfara massacres between January 4 and January 6, 2022 were a series of massacres committed by local bandits in January 2022 in the state of Zamfara, Nigeria. Over 200 people died. The series of killings has been called the largest terrorist attack in modern Nigerian history.

Background

The conflict with Nigerian bandits, which has killed thousands of people, began in 2011 and is linked to conflicts between farmers and pastoralists and the Boko Haram insurgency. Bandits carry out attacks in several northwestern states, including mass kidnappings and massacres. Attacks in Zamfara state in 2021 include the kidnapping of 279 high school students in Jangeb in February and the massacre of more than 50 villagers in Zurmi in June. Prior to the attacks, airstrikes by government forces on January 3 resulted in the death of more than 100 bandits and the destruction of their bases. The bandits relocated to another region, in which they carried out retaliatory attacks. A few days later, the Nigerian government labeled the bandits as terrorists.

Kills

Shortly before the attacks, the bandits attacked a herd of 3,000 cattle, but clashed with local military forces, leading to a firefight between the two sides. The outnumbered Nigerian forces were defeated, many of them killed. The killings of the inhabitants of a nearby village began. On January 4, at approximately 12:45 pm, bandits, estimated at 300-500, entered the town of Kurfar Danya on motorcycles, initiating a series of attacks on villages in the Anka and Bukkuyum districts of Zamfar. Gangs shot villagers, looted and burned their houses. For two days, the bandits laid siege to the cities of Kurfa and Rafin-Gero. Five different settlements were destroyed by bandits. One of the survivors said that the bandits "shot at everyone who caught their eye." The massacres ended on January 6, after the intervention of the armed forces. One of the leaders of the bandits, Bello Turgi, was accused of involvement in the murders.

Victims

The Zamfara state government said the death toll was 58. Later, the death toll was estimated at 154 people. A spokesman for the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadia Oumar Farooq, said Thursday

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