It's tale of tears, gloom and sorrow in the village of Birane in Zurmi local government area of Zamfara State.

While Nigerians celebrated Valentine, gunmen attacked the village and massacred 36 people.

The dead were laid to rest on Wednesday amidst outrage on social media that the tragedy was being downplayed by security and state authorities.

However, the Police Command in Zamfara admitted that 18 persons died in the attack, which appears to be a reprisal against the villagers for intercepting a suspected cattle rustler.

The Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Muhammad Shehu, while giving an account of what happened said it all started on February 13, when hunters from Birani village of Zurmi local government area accosted and intercepted a herder in the bush with some suspected stolen cattle and sheep.

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The herder abandoned the animals and escaped into the bush, but unknown to the hunters, the cattle rustler went to Isah Local Government Area of Sokoto State and mobilised bandits to attack the hunters.

*The dead being laid to rest on Wednesday

On February 14, the bandits ambushed the hunters and there was a clash that led to fatalities on both sides.

Shehu said, “Police/Military and other sister agencies reacted by combing the bush and its environs to salvage the situation and discovered 18 dead bodies.”

It is believed that the bandits took away their own members that were killed.

“Mobile policemen/Special forces and other security personnel from other sister security agencies have already been deployed to the area to restore peace and stability,” he said.

Photo Credit: NAN

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