Armed persons for several hours at the weekend reportedly attacked 15 communities in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, killing at least seven people.
Residents said the attacks started from late on Saturday, Christmas Day, to the early hours of Sunday.
Apart from the people killed, at least 33 women were kidnapped by the armed bandits, the residents told BBC Hausa in interviews monitored by PREMIUM TIMES.
The villages attacked include Geba, Kura, Duma, Gana, Tsakuwa, Gidan Kada and Gidan Kaura.
The residents said most of the villages were deserted on Sunday evening for fear of more attacks with residents taking refuge in Damba Estate in the state capital.
“They took 10 women in Kura village. In Bayauri, we knew they took nine women including young ladies, while seven women were taken in Gana and went to Duma and abducted another seven in the early morning of yesterday Sunday,” one of the residents told BBC Hausa.
He added that those who escaped the attack in Kura said seven people were killed but they could not retrieve their corpses for proper burial.
A resident of Damba Quarters said: “They’re here in Damba with mostly women and children in the open. They’ve not found shelter but we at least make them safe here.
“No food, no decent clothing. I feel bad for them and the situation is terrible. It’s as if there is no government in this country,” the Damba Quarters resident said in the interview.
The Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, confirmed the attacks but said security agents chased the bandits away from the villages.
“They were soldiers stationed in all the areas and they quickly went in when Geba community was being attacked. When the soldiers reached Geba, three residents have been wounded already but they save them and chased the bandits away,” he told BBC Hausa.
Dosara denied that the 15 communities were not protected during the attacks.
The police have yet to react to the latest attacks.
The police spokesperson in Zamfara State, Mohammed Shehu, did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him by PREMIUM TIMES.
Zamfara is one of the states most affected by banditry in Northern Nigeria with terror groups attacking communities at will. Other states are Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger.
Thousands of people have been killed or kidnapped this year by the bandits despite the heavy deployment of security operatives to the area.