At least 60 people were killed on Wednesday, May 27, when suspected bandits attacked villages in the Sabon Birni district of Sokoto state, near the border with Niger. Dozens of unidentified gunmen reportedly attacked the villages of Garki, Dan Aduwa, Kuzari, Katuma, and Masawa during the afternoon (local time), causing hundreds of residents to flee into the bush. An unknown number of people remain missing and unconfirmed reports from local officials suggest that the death toll has since risen to at least 74.
Security operations are likely in the are in the near term.
Bandit attacks have become an increasing threat in northwest Nigeria in recent years amid rising communal tensions, with the Sabon Birni district having seen repeated outbreaks of such violence. Wednesday's attacks came a day after security forces claimed to have launched a series of airstrikes against alleged bandits in neighboring Zamfara state and nearby Katsina state. However, high-profile security operations have previously had little success in reducing violence in the northwest.
Those in Sokoto state are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all directives and advice issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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