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30 die as canoe fleeing terrorists’ attack capsize in Zamfara

About 30 people lost their lives at Birnin Waje community in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State after a canoe they boarded capsized on Wednesday night while fleeing an attack from armed men.

Informant247 gathered that those affected were mostly women and children when they were trying to cross a river to flee an attack on their community by armed men with two overloaded canoes.

Informant247 learnt that there has been a sharp rise in deadly raids of recent on communities in Bukkuyum as the assaults are being staged by bandits widely believed to be hiding in expansive Gando and Barikin Daji forests in Bukkuyum and Gummi local government areas.

According to source, thirteen days ago, terrorists shot dead 15 worshippers following an attack on a mosque in the Ruwan Jema community of the Bukkuyum local government area.

The source further explained that the armed criminals had invaded Birnin Waje community firing at residents on Wednesday’s attack, stressing that the shootings caused a stampede with many residents struggling to board the canoes to cross a river to Zauma, a community they considered relatively safer, about 2km west of Bukkuyum town, the headquarters of Bukkuyum.

He stated that in spite of several warnings by the canoe riders to the residents to get off, they remained adamant and moved on, saying that the canoes became heavily loaded as none of them wanted to be left behind.

He said, “The armed men then followed the fleeing residents to the river bank firing shots. At the middle of the river the canoe riders who probably could not withstand the gunfire by the bandits jumped into the waters leaving the canoes adrift. Even though, some residents managed to escape after they plunged into the waters and swam to the shores.”

He stated that three children of his younger sister are among the victims, saying that there is an intense fear that the bandits are still in the area as it has greatly hampered rescue efforts.

SP Muhammad Shehu, the spokesman of the state police command, could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.

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