Nigeria Deploys Troops to Regions Affected by Bandit Attacks

(Bloomberg) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered security personnel to parts of the country prone to attacks by bandits.

"I have ordered rapid and robust deployment of troops to all the areas currently under attack from bandits," Buhari said in a statement Saturday. "We are determined to tackle this challenge ferociously until these remorseless killers are crushed and utterly defeated."

The attacks in mostly northern states of the West African nation have led to a spate of kidnappings and raids, forcing people from their homes. On Friday, at least 50 people were killed in Zamfara state following clashes between bandits and members of a civilian joint task force, Lagos-based Premium Times reported.

The army launched an operation last week to stem the spike in incidents in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and neighboring states, according to a tweet by Bashir Ahmed, a spokesman for the presidency. Nigeria has also deployed its police and secret service operatives.

Africa’s resource rich nation suspended mining in Zamfara and other affected states following a security report linking illegal mining and bandit activity, Nigeria’s presidency said in a statement on Sunday. Operators that continue to extract minerals while the suspension is in place will have mining licences revoked, it said.

Zamfara state is rich in minerals such as gold, granite and clay, according to Nigeria’s National Distribution of Raw Materials.

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