The death toll has risen to over 70 following a late Saturday gun attack in northwest Nigeria.
The attack by unknown gunmen took place in Kadawa village, a locality in Zurmi Local Government Area, Zamfara.
The gunmen stormed the village and started shooting indiscriminately, destroying homes and looting properties, according to Governor Bello Matawalle of the state.
On Saturday evening, after the attack confirmed by the governor of the state, close to 50 dead bodies were counted, including women and children, with several injured persons.
Authorities confirmed to the press on Sunday that the death toll has risen to 70 as some people who managed to escape with bullet wounds were later found dead.
Sources say the death toll could reach 100 by Monday as some people are still unaccounted for while others whose chances of survival are near impossible are in critical condition in the hospital after sustaining major injuries, a situation made worse by the poor medical facilities available in the area.
The attack happened on a day the country was celebrating Democracy Day, the day dedicated to those who fought hard for democracy to return to the West African country, after a series of military coups and political instability before 1999.
The attack also occurred just eight hours after President Muhammadu Buhari had addressed Nigerians on Saturday morning and acknowledged his government’s failure to provide security across the country but promised to do more.
“Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor, gives me great worry and concern, and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice,” Buhari said Saturday before the attack.
President Buhari has sent a condolence message to the affected families and has charged federal forces to investigate and bring the culprits of the Saturday attack to book.
He instructed that those carrying AK 47 or assault weapons be shot if they refused to surrender.
At least one person was reported dead and several injured in violent clashes between security forces and protesters in Lagos, calling on the second-term president to resign.