A series of attacks, carried out overnight Saturday to Sunday in northwestern Sokoto state Nigeria, left at least 43 dead.
“They opened fire on the village indiscriminately,” Abdullahi Dantani, from the village of Satiru where 18 people were murdered, told AFP.
“We lost 18 people in the raid by the gunmen, who came into the village on motorcycles,” said Satiru village resident Umeh Na-Ta’ala.
25 were killed overnight from Saturday to Sunday at state capital Sokoto when gunmen reportedly rode into four villages – Rukunni, Tsage, Giire and Kalfu and hot at the inhabitants of the rural villages and took their cattle and food.
According to police, all the victims were innocent civilians.
“I mourn with the country for these excessive forms of violence and terrorism against innocent Nigerians,” Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement on Sunday.
“Perpetrators and sponsors of such dastardly acts (will) be held accountable,” Buhari said.
Gang attacks are one of several security challenges facing Nigeria. Northern Nigeria especially, has been increasingly shaken in recent months by gang attacks. Gang members with no known political or religious motives attack villages stealing food and livestock, burning homes, and kidnapping for ransom, among others.