Menacing terrorists operating in Zamfara, North West Nigeria, have abducted at least seven travellers in a spree of attacks as the year gears towards an end. Around 6 p.m., on Dec. 27, the terrorists waylaid commuters along the federal highway in the Maradun area of the state, firing a hail of bullets at vehicles and setting one ablaze.
The armed group manned the highway unhindered for up to an hour, ambushed about 11 vehicles, abducted seven persons at gunpoint, and whisked them away through the Dangaza village to an unknown destination in the state.
Ali Direba, a 49-year-old commercial driver who witnessed the attack, said he drove on the road with six passengers, passing through a mobile police checkpoint, only to run into the ravaging terrorists on the highway.
“We all ran into the bush and left our luggage,” he told HumAngle. “The armed group set ablaze one of the vehicles wrongly parked on the road, burning the passengers’ belongings into ashes.”
Lawalin Tela-Mayanci, one of the commuters said he was travelling from Gusau, the state capital, to Mafara town when the armed group waylaid him and other passengers.
“We heard gunshots not up to 600 feet from where we were. As our driver reversed, we unfortunately ran into another armed group behind us. So we all ran into the bush and escaped the evil abduction,” Tela-Mayanci recalled.
Over an hour later, military officers patrolling the highway attempted to foil the attack but failed, witnesses said. Sani Bakanike, a resident in the Maradun area, suggested that the highway attack was born out of outrage by the terrorists after security forces dislodged them from their camp.
Meanwhile, residents in the Maradun area of Zamfara have witnessed similar heinous and gruesome attacks by the terrorists operating on the axis. In August 2022, for instance, the armed group blocked the Daki Takwas-Zuru federal highway for hours and abducted over 27 commuters unhindered.
However, Yazid Abubakar, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) in the state, said: “The attack might have happened due to escalation of the remnants of the armed criminal groups around those locations, because of the continuous fight against the terrorists at their various camps in the state. Now the road is safe as we’re deploying more security operatives at in the affected areas.”
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