Authorities in the north-western Nigerian state of Kaduna say gunmen have shot dead at least eight people and injured a number of others in a series of attacks on villages.
The Kaduna state commissioner for internal security, Samuel Aruwan, said in one of the attacks on Tuesday, the armed men blocked a major road near Kadanye village – opening fire on a bus and a truck carrying firewood, killing five people.
Bus driver, Alfred Makinde, as well as Abdulrahman Dela, Dauda Adamu, Umar Dauda, and Abdulrasheed Musa were identified as the casualties of the attack.
Some reports indicate that several people were also abducted during the attack.
In a statement, the commissioner said the other killings happened in the villages of Akilbu and Inlowo in Kachia area where 180 herds of cattle were also stolen by the gunmen in a herders’ settlement.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai noted the reports with sadness, and sent condolences to the families of the deceased while praying for the repose of their souls,” Aruwan’s statement read.
Kaduna is one of the worst affected by banditry in the northern region.
Nigeria is grappling with a wave of security challenges including widespread kidnapping for ransom by armed gangs, the Boko Haram insurgency and a renewed agitation by Biafra separatists in the south-east of the country where security officers and their facilities are increasingly targeted.
On Monday, heavily armed men broke into a major prison, detonating explosive devices and freeing more than 1,800 inmates in the city of Owerri. The prisoners are still at large.
By Abel Ejikeme