The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Saturday expressed outrage at the latest reports of killings in four villages of Zamfara State by bandits, who have now been designated as terrorists.
This was as the two emirs in the affected communities pleaded for deployment of more troops to the region.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, vowed that his regime would “smoke out and destroy these outlaws who have no regard for the sanctity of life.”
Residents said the terrorists descended on the villages, killing and burning houses after vigilantes engaged them in a gun battle, as they were trying to flee the state with no fewer than 3,000 cattle.
Residents had put the casualty figure at over 200, but the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said only 58 persons were killed.
Shehu’s statement on Saturday, titled, ‘President Buhari condemns the reported massacre of villagers by escaping bandits in Zamfara, vows no letup in military operations,’ quoted the President as describing the attacks as an act of desperation by the terrorists.