Mass burials held for Nigeria biker gang victims

Mass burials have been held for 48 people killed in north-western Nigeria during an attack on a village by notorious gangsters who operate in the region.

Known locally as bandits, the gunmen – often riding motorbikes – steal animals, kidnap for ransom, tax farmers and kill those who confront them.

Details are only now emerging of Wednesday’s raid in the remote Bakura area of Zamfara state because of communication problems.

Dozens of gunmen on motorbikes attacked Sabon-Garin Damri village shooting at residents, taking livestock and forcing hundreds of people to flee.


The gangs run huge money-making operations and often steal cattleImage caption: The gangs run huge money-making operations and often steal cattle
A local official told the BBC a military helicopter and soldiers had been deployed to Bakura following the attack.

But the security forces appear to be overstretched as they deal with major threats across the country including:

The armed gangs – which operate in the north-west, though not exclusively – targeting unprotected rural communities, schools as well as travellers on major highways
The continuing Islamist insurgency in the north-east
And separatists demanding a breakaway state in the south-east, who have recently stepped up attacks.

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