More than 40 killed in Sokoto state shootings

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At least 43 people died following raids by gunmen in Nigeria’s Sokoto state this week, three times more than the initial death toll given by officials, a spokesman for the state governor said.

Although the military is conducting an operation to stamp out a tide of violence by armed gangs known as bandits in the north-west, including a telecoms blackout, the violence and kidnappings continue.

The latest attacks in Sokoto’s Illela town bordering Niger took place on Sunday night into the early hours of Monday morning.

The state government initially said 13 people were killed while two more were killed in another town east of the state capital.

“At the time of the governor’s visit Wednesday afternoon the toll has risen to 43,” Muhammad Bello, the governor’s spokesman said in a statement.

Last month, gunmen killed at least 43 people in another attack in the state.

Armed gangs operating for profit have killed or kidnapped hundreds of people across north-western Nigeria this year.