No fewer than 30 people perished as their canoes were involved capsized at Birnin Waje community in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The victims were reportedly fleeing from armed men that attacked their community on Wednesday night.
According to a source, the ill-fated canoes had more women and children in it and they were overloaded to escape the ruthlessness of the armed men that attacked their communities.
In recent times, communities in Bukkuyum have suffered attacks from armed men.
The terrorists killed 15 worshippers after attacking a mosque in the Ruwan Jema community of the Bukkuyum local government area thirteen days ago.
It is believed by a large number of people that the bandits are hiding in expansive Gando and Barikin Daji forests in Bukkuyum and Gummi local government areas.
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. In 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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