Sunday, 12 May 2024 05:01

Gunmen abduct over 100 in attacks on Zamfara villages

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In a series of Friday night raids on three villages in northwest Nigeria, gunmen kidnapped more than 100 individuals, according to reports from a district head and residents on Saturday. The incident marks yet another abduction in a region plagued by pervasive insecurity.

Kidnapping has become rampant in Nigeria's northwest, with armed groups targeting villages, highways, and schools, often demanding ransom payments from victims' families. Bala, the head of a district in Zamfara's Birnin-Magaji local government area, disclosed that 38 men and 67 women and children were missing following the attacks on the villages of Gora, Madomawa, and Jambuzu. However, he noted that the actual number of abducted individuals could be higher.

Zamfara has become a hub for kidnapping gangs, who carry out attacks and retreat into forest hideouts. Despite military efforts to combat these groups, attacks persist. Attempts to reach Yezid Abubakar, the Zamfara police spokesperson, for comment were unsuccessful.

Aminu Aliyu Asha, the village head of Madomawa, recounted how gunmen on motorbikes arrived in his village, firing shots indiscriminately before abducting several residents. He expressed dismay over the breach of a peace agreement reached earlier with the bandits, highlighting previous ransom payments made to deter attacks.

Witnesses shared harrowing tales of loved ones snatched away, including Nusa Sani, who reported that his two brothers were among the abducted, and Garba Kira, who mentioned that 15 passengers in a passing lorry were also taken.

While mass kidnappings were initially associated with jihadist groups a decade ago, armed gangs with no clear ideological allegiance have since adopted the practice, exacerbating Nigeria's economic challenges and deepening the security crisis.

 

Reuters/NewsScroll

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