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Armed banditry: Peace talks at risk as 8 killed in fresh attacks

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Fresh clashes between vigilantes and armed bandits in Zamfara state is threatening the ongoing peace dialogue between the two warring factions, Daily Trust on Saturday has learnt.

In December last year, the state government had initiated peace talks between the vigilantes and armed bandits.

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Since then the rural communities have enjoyed relative peace following reduction of deadly assaults on them by the bandits.

A couple of weeks ago, three residents including the vigilante leader of Yan’ waren Daji village of Tsafe Local government area of the state were shot dead by the armed bandits and their bodies cremated after the clash.

The angry residents of the Yan Waren Daji community then issued an ultimatum to the state government to bring to book the armed bandits who perpetrated the killings by last Wednesday, failure of which they would be left with no option other than to retaliate the attacks.

A resident of the community Musa Yan Waren Daji told Daily Trust that residents from the village mobilized and storm the known camp of the bandits and a heavy fight ensued resulting in the killing of at least six of them.

"The armed bandits had issued a warning asking the village head of the community to vacate alongside his family. This warning sent the other residents panicking with many families fleeing the village.

As I’m talking to you know we are on our way to Tsafe town, the headquarters of Tsafe local government to brief the DPO there about the incident. Even though some of the residents defied the waring issued by the bandits, many families are leaving the community for fear of the unknown," he added. 

He then called on the security operatives to as a matter of urgency take serious proactive measure on the new threat saying that if the bandits had stricken the aftermath of the attack could be devastating.

The spokesman of the state police command DSP Muhammad Shehu said they heard about the attacks but they could not confirm whether lives have been lost.

"We are investigating the development and a team of security operatives was dispatched to the area to forestall any possible breach of peace," he added.

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