Dozens of victims are said to be dead following a terrorist attack in Nigeria this week.
According to the local government, the death count stands at 43, though other reports put that number at as high as 49, as Breitbart noted.
Authorities investigate latest deadly attack
In addition to those killed, many more were reportedly injured in the attack on Sunday in Goronyo, a town in northern Nigeria’s Sokoto state.
Although details were scarce in early reports, it appears that a group of gunmen attacked a bazaar in the town. Buyers and sellers from Sokoto, surrounding states, and the Niger Republic travel to Goronyo’s marketplace on Sundays.
According to witnesses, the market was packed with people when the attack began.
The terrorists reportedly rode in on motorcycles and witnesses said there were more than 100 vehicles involved. The gunmen apparently surrounded the area and opened fire in an attack that stretched into early Monday morning. Local police arrived on the scene and were still conducting an investigation as of the latest updates available.
The identities of the terrorists are still unknown and witnesses expressed their belief that the individuals were bandits. Some reports suggest various groups of bandits joined forces for the deadly attack.
“Destroying the unity and brotherliness”
Of those confirmed dead, eight were from Goronyo and the remainder came from neighboring villages, which could indicate that the terrorists were not targeting a specific group of people.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement bolstering the bandit theory, asserting that such criminals are “currently under desperate pressure because of the intense and sustained air and ground operations against them in their hideouts by our security forces.”
Although Buhari seemed to use the incident as an opportunity to portray his administration as strong on crime, critics say the opposite is true. Deadly attacks have been a tragically common occurrence in Nigeria of late.
In an effort to target murderous bandits across the nation, Nigeria’s government moved last month to shut down telephone and internet operations in the state of Zamfara. Following subsequent threats, that blackout has grown to include areas in the states of Sokoto, Katsina, and Kaduna.
Sokoto Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal denounced the “unacceptable” violence of “growing terrorist acts by bandits who are gradually succeeding in destroying the unity and brotherliness of the country through acts of criminality on innocent citizens.”