The death toll of an attack on a village in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Kaduna has risen to 73, as more bodies were recovered and buried on Tuesday.
Mohammed Musa, a youth leader in Gwaska village which was attacked last weekend by unknown gunmen, told Xinhua that 71 bodies had been buried since the incident last Saturday.
Local authorities had confirmed 58 bodies buried during a mass funeral on Monday, but Musa said 13 more bodies of victims were dug out by a local vigilante group who combed the surrounding bushes between Monday evening and early Tuesday.
A Xinhua crew on an on-the-spot reporting of the incident found two more bodies in a thick bush, together with a local security group in the village, on Tuesday.
The village’s youth leader said more people are still missing, following the attack last Saturday evening.
Relatives were buried together during Monday’s mass burial, with some of the graves having up to six bodies.
Gwaska is a populated village, located in Birnin-Gwari, an area frequently attacked by gunmen in Kaduna. It is 291 kilometers away from the Kaduna city center. Most of its dwellers are farmers.
Local residents scampered for safety as the gunmen entered the village on Saturday evening, shooting indiscriminately.
Mostly children were killed during the four-hour attack.
The attackers were believed to have entered the village from the northwestern state of Zamfara, a neighboring state to Kaduna.
On the day of the attack, the gunmen, who came in at least 50 motorcycles, had encircled the village and razed many buildings, mostly mud houses.
Some of the buildings were still burning when Xinhua visited the village on Tuesday. Burned bicycles and motorcycles also littered the village.
Up till now, there is no security presence in the village despite the massive killing of the dwellers.
In a move to track down the killers of Saturday’s attack, the local police in Kaduna said combatant policemen will be assigned to comb Birnin Gwari.
On Monday, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the establishment of a permanent Battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari general area had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria’s police chief Ibrahim Idris has also announced the creation of a Birnin Gwari Police Area Command and two new divisional police headquarters as a means of beefing up security in the area.
Police spokesperson Mukhtar Aliyu told reporters in Kaduna city that no arrest has been made so far, but that the effort to arrest the killers has been intensified.