The governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, on Thursday confirmed the killing of 43 persons in Monday’s bandit attack on Illela Local Government Area of the state.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Tambuwal’s spokesman, Muhammad Bello, on Thursday in Sokoto.

Mr Bello said Mr Tambuwal led members of the state’s executives and the Security Council, as well as other top government officials on a condolence visit to the people of Illela on Wednesday.

Illela is a border town, 97 kilometres from the state capital and has been experiencing pockets of bandits’ attacks lately.

According to Mr Bello, marauders attacked the town and some villages near it in the wee hours on Nov. 15 killing 13 persons in the first instance.

“At the time of the governor’s visit on Wednesday, the death toll had risen to 43,’’ he stated.

Mr Bello explained that the village head of Kalmalo, one of the five villages affected in the midnight attack was wounded.

Other villages affected were Munwadata, Sarma, Runji and Masasa.

He added that Mr Tambuwal told the people of Illela that the government and people of Sokoto State felt their grief and extended their condolences.

“This is not a small occurrence. It is upsetting. This incident really touched us,” he quoted Tambuwal as saying.

Mr Bello stated that Mr Tambuwal commended the local government authority, traditional rulers and community leaders for their lawful composition of a volunteer group to work with security operatives in the area.

He added that the governor assured that the state government would constitute join operations of volunteers who would work under the supervision of security agencies to enhance security in the area.

The governor appealed to the people not to be daunted by the attacks.

“Instead, this should motivate you to redouble your efforts without seeking revenge in securing your communities,” Mr Bello also quoted Mr Tambuwal as saying.