Death toll of latest Sokoto massacre rises to 45

The bandits wreaked havoc in at least seven villages in Illela LGA.

Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal [Sokoto State Government]

The death toll of the latest massacre in Sokoto State, earlier reported to be 15, has risen to 45, according to the state government.

Bandits had been reported to have attacked Goronyo and Illela Local Government Areas of Sokoto late on Sunday, November 14, 2021.

Governor Tambuwal had said the 'bandits graduating into terrorists' killed 13 in Illela, and two in Goronyo.

That figure has now been updated after the governor paid a condolence visit to Illela where he was informed by residents about the true scale of the attack.

Five villages in the LGA were affected by the raid of the bandits which lasted into the early hours of Monday, November 15.

43 people have been buried since the massacre, according to community leaders.

"This is not a small occurrence. It is upsetting," Governor Tambuwal told community leaders during his visit on Wednesday, November 17.

He urged them to keep up their security vigilance, and resist the temptation to be vengeful.

"We are poised to continue supporting you and giving you all the necessary assistance whenever required," the governor said.

A similar attack in Goronyo last month claimed at least 30 lives, a death toll later reported to be over 50.

The Sokoto State government in September shut down telecommunications services in 14 LGAs, including Goronyo and Illela, as part of new measures to crack down on banditry, but the results have been mixed.

In condemning this week's attack, Governor Tambuwal begged the Federal Government to expedite action against the bandits.

He noted that insecurity makes economic development difficult to attain, making the lives of residents miserable.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also condemned the attack, vowing not to allow bandits take over the country under his watch.

"The bandits are living in a fool's paradise if they believe that they can't be crushed.

"The criminals cannot be lucky always; they will ultimately meet their waterloo," he said.

Bandits have terrorised many parts of the northern region, growing in influence over the past couple of years.

Thousands of people have been killed and many others kidnapped for ransom especially in rural areas of the region.

The Federal Government has struggled to curb the activities of the notorious armed gangs, but Buhari said on Tuesday, November 16 the military is deploying advanced technology to fight them.

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