No fewer than 67 persons have been killed following attacks by suspected bandits on some villages in Zurmu Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

It was gathered that the attacks left hundreds of others, including women and children with various degrees of injuries.

Witnesses said the gunmen, who came on motorcycles in their numbers, stormed the villages and began to fire sporadic gunshots.

“This led to the loss of lives and several others were injured, while houses and other valuables of the villagers were razed. At least 67 people were killed,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Governor Bello Matawalle has asked residents to defend themselves against bandits.

He spoke during the special prayer session to mark the second year anniversary of his administration.

Matawalle said it has become necessary to draw teams of agile youths that would be saddled with the responsibility of crushing criminals.

He said governors from the northern region had concluded arrangements to come up with detailed plans to tackle insecurity.

The governor further pointed out that they are working out modalities that could make traditional rulers pick persons that would defend communities against aggressors.

Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara state where bandits have thrived.

Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.

In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.

About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different 'repentant' gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.

But despite all these, communities in the state are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.