No fewer than 200 persons have reportedly been killed in Anna and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas of Zamfara State by suspected bandits fleeing military onslaught in other areas. A source said the bandits, who were trying to escape the ongoing military operations with a large number of domestic animals, attacked some villages in the two local government areas, leaving a trail of deaths. The source gave the names of the villages attacked as Rafin Danya, Barayar Zaki, Rafin Gero and Kurfa communities. A villager, Mohammed Kurfe, told our reporter that he was in his village when the bandits stormed the communities. “They came with over 3,000 cattle and were trying to leave the state due to the pressure on them by the military operatives when members of a vigilante group tried to engage them in a gun duel” “When they noticed that the bandits were about to enter the village, the local vigilante group members came out to defend the people of the village, but they were overpowered by the bandits, who were moving in large numbers” “They killed many of the vigilante group members and also set the village on fire and killed many people, mostly women and children” “The other neighbouring villages of Rafin Danya, Barayar Zaki and Rafin Gero were also attacked at the same time and it was discovered that more than 200 villagers lost their lives in the process” An eyewitness, who spoke to the BBC Hausa Service, said three villages, Rafin Danya, Kurfa and Rafin Gero, were completely burnt down by the bandits, saying that all the affected communities suffered casualties. Efforts to confirm the incident from the state Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Mamman Tsafe has so far been unsuccessful as he is yet to take his calls.