Abuja: At least 48 people have been killed when armed bandits raided a northern Nigerian village in an apparent reprisal attack targeting a local vigilante group.
There was an attack by armed bandits early Tuesday on Kizara village in Zamfara state where 48 residents were killed in apparent targeted killings by cattle rustlers who besieged the remote village on motorbikes, state government`s spokesman Ibrahim Birnin-Magaji said today.
He said the gunmen went on top of hills and opened fire indiscriminately.
They later went from house to house, telling residents that they were looking for members of local vigilante whom they accused of being hostile to them, Birnin-Magaji said.
He said those killed included an Islamic priest and the head of the vigilante group.
Despite the arrival of the police which engaged them in a shootout, the bandits could not be overpowered due to superior weapons, Birnin-Magaji said.
Most northern Nigerians engage in cattle rearing but cattle thieves come from time to time to take away their livestock.
Some villagers form vigilantes to keep away the rustlers since the police is not always at hand for protection.