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Insecurity: Over 1,200 Killed In Nigeria In March, Highest Death Toll This Year

Data collected from press reports also indicate that at least 519 people were victims of abduction in the month.

The rate at which lives are lost to violent events in Nigeria rose in March compared to the first two months of 2022.

According to data from the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) analysed by HumAngle, at least 1,214 people were killed across the country between March 1 and 31.

This surpasses figures recorded for previous months. There had been 996 fatalities in January and 765 in February.

More people were, however, kidnapped in January compared to the other two months in the quarter. While there were 614 victims of abduction in the first month of the year, the number dropped to 351 in February but increased significantly in March to 519.

Out of all the fatalities in March, four were election-related and one was a party leader abducted in Kwara State. Also, at least 477 of the victims were civilians while 94 were security personnel, including especially soldiers and police officers. Also reported killed were 107 Boko Haram insurgents, five robbers, and 515 other armed persons, mostly terrorists in Northwest Nigeria.

Some of the most gruesome attacks took place in Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, and Zamfara states.

About 17 per cent of the death toll in the month was from Kaduna alone. Over half (51.6 per cent) of the people kidnapped were similarly abducted in the northwestern state.

In one incident between March 6 and 7, terrorists, numbering over 100, reportedly killed 65 people across three local government areas (LGAs) in Niger State. “The gunmen operated for several hours searching all the houses in the village without any response to distress calls to the security men stationed at Sarkinpawa,” one resident close to Chibani said.

On March 25, about 50 people were killed in different communities in the Giwa area of Kaduna while over 100 others were kidnapped.

Other headlines published in the period announced the killing of 20 people in Taraba, 24 in Zamfara, 37 in Kaduna, another 15 and 23 also in Kaduna, and so on.

One of the most prominent violent attacks recorded last month happened on the evening of March 28 when terrorists ambushed the Abuja-Kaduna train, killing at least eight people. As of last Monday, about 168 people among those abducted were still missing.

“We have seen them [terrorist] become sophisticated in their attacks and more brutal,” said security analyst Dr Kabir Ahmed last Saturday during a Twitter chat conveyed by HumAngle. 

“For the government to allow such an attack to happen successfully, to allow terrorists set a new standard in their operations, then we can only imagine how strategic and how modernised they have become, we can only imagine how coordinated their next attack will be.”

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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