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The police in Katsina and Zamfara states on Thursday said 21 persons, including police officers and members of vigilante groups, were killed in bandits attacks in the states this week.
The police in separate statements said the attacks occurred in Dandume and Maradun local government areas of Katsina and Zamfara respectively.
The police spokesperson in Katsina State, Gambo Isah, said the attack in Diskuru in Dandume LGA where gunmen killed at least 12 locals, four vigilantes and a police officer, was retaliatory.
Mr Isah said the gunmen had been forced to retreat from a previous attack on the community after suffering heavy casualties from the locals who defended their community.
However, the police said the gunmen returned to the community on Thursday in a larger number, on motorcycles, and with more sophisticated weapons. They shot at people indiscriminately and burnt down many homes.
A combined team of security personnel later arrived the community, and with the local vigilante group, engaged the bandits in a gunfight.
The police spokesperson said the gunmen again suffered heavy casualties following a reinforcement from the Air Force who brought in fighter jets. He said the security personnel were still combing the forest to recover corpses of the bandits.
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