Cattle rustlers kill monarch, police inspector, 33 others

An unspecified number of people were killed on Tuesday evening by gunmen suspected to be cattle rustlers in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, the police and community sources have said.

A village head in the area, who pledged anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday that the victims included the district Head of Allawa in Shiroro, a police inspector and 33 others.

The community leader said the attackers, numbering about 40 and armed with machine guns and other weapons, were believed to be Fulani herdsmen.

He said the operation lasted about two hours during which the attackers set more than 25 houses ablaze and injured many.

The village head said many of the villagers had been displaced as a result of the incident.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Niger, ASP Bala Elkana, said the command had yet to confirm the casualty figure.

Elkana said a policeman was among those killed, adding that the incident occurred on Tuesday night.

He said due to lack of communication between Allawa and other parts of the state, the security agencies could not respond on time.

Elkana said, “The Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Marafa, has sent the Divisional Police Officer in Kagara and the Police Area Commander in Minna to the troubled village to assess the situation and bring back a report.”

NAN reported that the Nigerian Army had been battling with cattle rustlers in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

The Army recently recovered 184 cows and 83 sheep from suspected cattle rustlers and handed them over to the Chairman of Munya Local Government, Alhaji Abdulkadir Bida, to enable their owners to reclaim them.