SOKOTO, 1 March 2021 – At least 15 people were shot dead and dozens others were injured Monday morning during a raid by unidentified gunmen on a village in the northwestern Nigerian state of Sokoto.

Most of the victims died heroes, according to eyewitness accounts and survivors of the attack.

Funeral for a victim in Maiduguri - Photo Audu Marte, AFP via Getty Images

Funeral for a victim in Maiduguri – Photo Audu Marte, AFP via Getty Images

Villagers stood up to the gunmen with their bare hands, as they tried to prevent the gunmen from leaving the village with a businessman they had abducted at dawn and were leading away from the village.

Those injured have been admitted to hospitals while the dead were buried quickly on Monday.

Additional police and security personnel were deployed to the village and other parts of Sokoto State on Monday.

It is believed that the gunmen are armed bandits who were leading the businessman away to hold in exchange for ransom payments.

As of Monday night, the search and rescue mission was still underway for 317 schoolgirls who kidnapped from their dormitories in a government secondary school in the neighboring state of Zamfara.

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